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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Google Me

"So I googled you," he said to me, and it ignited a sudden paranoia that no other comment could. Not even "we need to talk" or “so I’m technically married” could stir me the way that did.

I tried to let it go as he explained to me that he was just trying to find out more about me and I played it down like it was no big deal But we had just met! "I'm so glad you're not freaked out," he said. Little did he know…

Sure, it's just a simple thing. www.google.com and enter someone's name. And I can't say that I'm not guilty, because sure, I've googled people. I'll admit it. Really, who hasn't? And while it's fine to google someone, be tactful, people. If you're going to google me, google me right.

 

First things first. You don't tell someone, especially someone you just met, that you googled them. Then you enter the uncomfortable territory of stalker, and no one wants to enter into that realm too quickly in a relationship.

Besides, whatever happened to good old-fashioned courting? Okay, maybe not so old-fashioned that we use the word “courting,” but at least the days when you actually used human interaction, not a website, to find out information on a person. Sure, it’s fun to get some interesting tidbits on someone, but isn’t it more fun to find out via the person you’re looking up? Does googling take some of the fun away from getting to know someone?

When first dating, or upon meeting someone you might want to date, it might seem like a good idea, or even routine, to google his or her name, but you must be wary of what you find. While the internet is a vast area of information, it must be used properly. When online dating, you know that the person already has some background information on you via the internet. That’s the point. They put that information out there into the dating pool for people to see, willingly saying, “read my clever anecdotes!”

But who knows what is hiding in the little nooks and crannies of the Internet, and just who might be searching for them. A quick search might reveal a little more about someone than the searcher bargained for. Police records, old college photos, girls gone wild…the possibilities are endless.

I knew that my name would reveal some articles I had written. Fine. I figured that I was pretty safe there because work is a general date topic anyway. But what else was lurking out there? I wondered. If the next guy I meet is a potential date, should I be having anxiety attacks over what he will find if (or more likely, when) he googles me?

I put myself in the place of a future date. I googled myself.

It was like being at the doctor’s office. In the half a second it took to give me my results, I went through all the anxieties of waiting for actual test results. Googlitis? Just a touch of hemogoogle? Or, wait a second, could it be? Do I have the most boring google results on the Internet?

As I expected, up popped articles that I had written. Scrolling past those, I knew there had to be something better. But strewn between the articles were all of my other twins out there. Nicole Roberge in the Peace Corps? Not me. Soccer player? Nope. A lot of stuff in French…skip a few pages…Bad news. In Maine, Nicole Roberge ripped someone off—a refund never seen. That’s not me, for the record. Did you know I was a theatre coordinator? Yeah, me neither.

So with my results, I was relieved to mostly find articles I had written amidst the other Nicole Roberge’s out there, though I was worried over the possibility that someone might confuse me for one of the other results. Especially if googled by someone you just met, how will they know if you’re the one speaking at the Education Convention or partying at Spring Break in Cabo? If you detail your search enough, you can usually find what you’re looking for, but if you’re cold-googling, things could get tricky.

But then there were the strange bits of information that were mine and were not work-related that shocked me a little. Things from my past that I didn’t know were available for the whole world to see. But things so insignificant that I had forgotten about, and that no one should really care about.

For instance, the bio lab presentation schedule from my freshman year of college, complete with my group members info and a synopsis. Yes, now I remember, Chimpanzees versus Humans. How original. Glad they don’t have my grade up there.

Another college bit…a mention in the English Department newsletter. My name in a flier from a summer job during college... Do people really read this stuff?

After my stressful google adventure, I found…. that I am not worth googling. A lot of useless information is out there on me. Trust me, you’ll get better, and mostly true, information if you just straight out ask me. But if you do want to delve into the world of googling, best to do it in private. Don’t reveal your dirty habit just yet. If things go well, and you’re comfortable enough with each other to share all the information that might be out there, then go ahead and joke about it. “I googled you!” Chances are, in this day and age, in addition to not being surprised, he also expected it. Why wouldn’t you have googled him? He googled you.



Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at NicoleMRoberge@hotmail.com.


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