I’m Googling You
On my way back from Social Media Week Tuesday, I scanned my twitter feed looking for insight from other panels, trolling for things I could retweet. I saw a string of posts related to Big Fuel’s “Social Love: The Future of Social Media and Relationships.” One read, “In regards to Googleing someone, it’s okay to find out as much as you can, just don’t admit it.” This is from @cablight, a company that focuses on “Lovelife Management.”
Facebook stalking friends of friends and Googling acquaintances have always been taboo activities. We subscribe to an antiquated concern that we are misguided voyeurs, peeping Toms. But in an age when our online lives are increasingly apparent—and relevant—in real life, why deny our fascination with other people’s profiles? Why, as @cablight recommends, gather information just to pretend it doesn’t exist?
Google me. Find out that I gave Selena Gomez a decent album review. Check out Instagramed photos of my favorite coffee shops on Twitter. I love guinea pigs, I own purple heels, I’m from Southern Oregon: all these items are floating online, prime for your picking. If you Google me, you guarantee initiating an engaging conversation. The Internet allows us to skip that awkward moment after the waitress whisks away the menus and you say, “Um, so. What are you into?”
Granted, I am young. My high school warned me about the perils of drinking photos on Facebook (“Your dream college WILL find out about them”) and I have yet to attend a well-photographed bachelorette party featuring tequila-flavored penis pops. On the flip side, I am also lucky to have enough positive content (and a unique name) to give prospective dates ample online fodder. Some people deal with having the same name as a serial killer or the somehow crazy SEO’d remnants of a middle school home video.
The aforementioned problems are all the more reason to take control of your online personality. Get a Twitter account, figure out your passion and create a cool site. And, when it comes time to suss out your next date, expect the same of them. Let it be okay to say, “Google mentioned you’re a lover of whales. Why’s that?” Whether the information is right or wrong, it’s a place to start. We wax nostalgic about “real” connection all the time, so why are we wasting face-to-face on stupid questions that we can resolve from the get-go? The Internet makes all kinds of knowledge accessible; use it to step up your game.
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