KQED had a recent segment on Googling your dates that got my brain wheels turning. Does knowing more from the start help you find the right person or does it keep you from meeting someone great? The question posed was – Should we stop Googling our dates?
Yes. No. Outlook is hazy.
There is no hiding on the internets. Let’s just get that out there now. Unless you’re one of those people who chooses to opt out of everything social media. Then you’re probably someone who also uses an AOL email account.
Is knowing more a good thing? OKC provides way more information about your date than you could possibly care to know. PirateBooty72 loves Milan Kundera, memorized Point Break and works hard, plays hard! Tinder is a much less revealing with their “see you across the bar” approach. “Would I get naked with this person?” Yes? Swipe right! “It’s A Match!” You both would get naked with each other! And they lived happily ever after.
One of the guest speakers on the show was Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid, who pointed out that online people make snap judgements that they wouldn’t make so freely if they were meeting someone for the first time in real life. I agree. There really isn’t much deep insight to be gleaned off of first impressions of an online photos. In real life, I would give a guy a better chance if they weren’t hot but still kinda funny, but I swipe left with fervor if I’m not immediately impressed with your online photo.
If you are dating to find “the one” then interweb stalking can provide a lot of information that may be helpful. You may find some deal killers that are non-negotiable and you can move on to the next prospective mate. You may not want to take the time to discover things naturally. You’re over dating, right? Why bother with the intro process when you can just zoom right past the first steps and narrow your prospects? There is always the possibility that you may have let someone go that could have been great.
Personally, I want details. If we share common friends on social media, even better. The more you know (shooting star!) I do prefer a real-life first connection over online dating. Do you have the balls to say hi? Can we carry on a conversation knowing nothing about each other? Will you ask me out on a date? Once that happens then I’ll go home and google you.
Researching your date is incredibly simple. The first date questions are all there on the interwebs. Just log onto Facebook to find the city, friends, family, work and school info on your Thursday night date. Are you the same kind of foodie? Check out all the food porn on their Instagram and discover that they actually like eating quinoa or that they only drink microbrews. So then what do you talk about on your first date? Your painful past? Terrible exes? How you hate the Dodgers and she’s from LA?
For obvious reasons, women online research their dates more than men. They look for any possible creepster factors. Also, to find out if their dates are actually single. A friend found out a guy she was dating was ‘in a relationship’ through Facebook. [Side note: If you're going to cheat. Don't add the 'other woman' on FB as a friend!] If you don’t want certain people knowing your business…privacy settings!
Back in the olden days (90′s) you could only get a back story if you knew mutual people and had an actual conversation with said friends. Otherwise, you took a chance and pretty much went on a date with a stranger. Which usually resulted in many bad date stories. One of my blind dates was with a vegetarian Che Guevara look alike who took me to dinner at Tsunami Sushi. He ate before the date so he didn’t order anything and tried to get me drunk on sake while asking how many guys I’ve had. I left after 30 minutes. Would Google have helped me avoid this dude?
What about you? Do you want to know it all before you even meet the person in real life? Let us know in the comments!