For those of you who may have been living under a rock or in an Amish commune for the past 5 years, the word “googled” (as in, “I googled her yesterday”) doesn’t mean you stared at her brazenly or groped her under the table. Instead, the word “google” in all its many forms simply means that you’ve searched for someone’s name using Google’s internet search engine. But chances are, most of you already knew that, and that’s probably because you’ve googled friends and potential dates in the past.
You can google anyone or anything. Curious about your ex-girlfriends? Want to know if the girl you work with has a secret life? Consult Google for more information! The idea of “google dating,” as it is sometimes called,” refers to the act of searching for information on a date or a girlfriend using the internet search engines.
Implications of googling
In most cases, people who are new to the idea of googling someone start out by searching for their own names. Our narcissistic tendencies get the better of us, and before you know it, you’re searching for anything about yourself online, and in some cases, wondering how it got there.
But, after you’re tired of searching aimlessly for information on yourself, chances are good that you will turn the keyboard onto one of your friends or a girlfriend. While googling may be an accepted norm with some people, it’s still considered a form of spying to a lot of people. So, here are some things to consider before you start googling everyone in your address book:
Assuming you find information on a potential date, what are you going to do with this information? Chances are pretty good that you aren’t going to find anything incriminating on your potential date in the first place, but even if you did find a police press release indicating she was arrested for shoplifting 3 years ago, what are you going to do about it? You can’t broach the subject with your date because then she will know that you googled her.
Googling your dates can ruin your relationships. For example, let’s say that you went on a date with a girl you met through a mutual acquaintance. She’s attractive, intelligent, funny and most importantly, she likes you and wants to go out again. But, then you go home, boot up your computer and type her name and any identifying information into Google. What do you find? Compromising images of her from a few years ago when she worked in the adult entertainment industry. Whether or not this turns you on, you will most likely want to talk to her about it, but you won’t be able to without revealing your true spying nature.
A friend of mine confessed to googling a girl he had been dating for a few months. Not only did he google her name, but he added specific terms to the search to narrow down the results. He used the word naked, for example, to see if there were any images of her on the internet. Here’s where he slipped up: when she came over and sat down at his computer to get the phone number of a certain restaurant, his search history popped up in Google, showing her the dishonest and sneaky things he’d been up to. Needless to say, they aren’t an item anymore.
These are just a couple of examples of how googling can hurt your relationships. Before you google someone you are dating, you may want to consider the reasons you are searching for information on them, and whether or not that information will matter to you, if it’s there to be found.
After all, most people who aren’t celebrities will only have limited information available on the internet. Perhaps she used to play on a beach volleyball team, and her name is listed on an online roster. Or maybe she volunteers for an organization that has a website. If you are looking for something really personal, it’s likely not going to be on the internet unless an immature ex-boyfriend of hers posted naked pictures of her without her knowing. Whatever the case, if you are relying on Google to help vet potential girlfriends, then there’s probably something wrong with you.
What does googling say about you?
Ironically, most people who google other people’s names reveal much more about themselves than they do about their subjects. If you are one of those people who likes to google everyone you meet or date, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you insecure?
- Do you have valid suspicions that you are following up on?
- Are you simply curious and having fun?
Perhaps your insecurities are fueling your googling habits. Do you hope to find out negative information about other people so that you can feel superior? Or maybe you are afraid of committing to someone, and googling your girlfriends in an attempt to find out anything that you might be able to use to get out of the relationship is your way of dealing with your inability to commit.
Or maybe you’re just having fun…
A lot of people google other people’s names because they’re just curious or are just fooling around. Rather than searching for dirt on people you know, curious googlers just want to see if anything shows up, but aren’t out to find out information on someone’s past. If that’s the case, then googling isn’t as harmful as it can be in cases.
However, while you may be able to tell your buddy that you googled his name and found his high school hockey stats listed, it might be more difficult to explain to your new girlfriend why you googled her name in combination with her ex-boyfriend’s name.
Searching for dirt on someone you are dating isn’t a good way to build trust in a relationship, so if you’re hooked on googling, stick to searching for information on celebrities or people who won’t be hurt by your actions.