Is it OK to Google your Date?

29 02 2012

A few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine came flying over to my desk with an all too important question. As you can guess from the title, he wanted to know if I thought it was OK to Google a guy before I went on a date with him. Mandy Pants also sits right next to me, but since it’s pretty clear she’s out of the game (as a happily married and pregnant woman), the response request came straight to me.

“D-Magic,” he said. Or rather, he used my real name… but go with me here. “Please tell me you’re going to be on my side. I just left Sandy’s desk and she was looking this guy up on Google because she has a date with him tonight. Do women really do that? And do y’all think that’s ok?”

I let him finish his hilariously shocked diatribe and calmly responded, “Yep. And yep.” I then attempted to explain to him why I, and many other women were well within our rights to Google a dude before going on a date with him. Here were a few of my reasons:

It’s really no different than asking your boys what they know about a girl you met

Sure, you might think it’s a reach of a comparison. But really, it’s not. In college, most guys meet a woman and before they do anything serious with her, double check on her with their boys. Now, you don’t know what you might find. But you know what you don’t want to find out – you don’t want to find out that she’s been so-called sloring around campus. Well typically, that’s not the main concern for women when we’re googling a dude – we want to know if he’s crazy enough that Google has records on his crazy. Either way, it’s a background check. So if you condone the one that men do, you really can’t persecute the Google searching that women do.

Ummm, folks is crazy out there

Listen, I love meeting new people. But meeting new people outside of your immediate circle presents one major concern – duh, you don’t know them. And you don’t know other people who know them either. So, I’m sorry, but if the dude is on the Sex Offenders list in DC, that’s something I may want to know before agreeing to meet him at Bus Boys and Poets. Sure all crazy can’t be captured in a Google search – but that just goes to show you that if the guy has something crazy enough for Google to catch. Unh uh, sir – these are things I need to know.

Sometimes, you just want to be prepared

This is not to say that you should spend hours on the internet searching for this man. I think that’s taking it too far. And if he’s silly enough to have his Facebook page open to the public, you probably still shouldn’t go scouring through his pictures. But if you put in his name and the first match is for one of those “girl don’t date him” sites – that’s not saying you’ll cancel the date – but it might be good to have that information in your arsenal as you listen to him try to woo you at the latest Cheesecake Factory rip-off restaurant.

I say all this, but I will admit that while I do believe in an initial search, I did tell my co-worker that I didn’t think anyone should go beyond that. Sometimes the old adage is true that when you go looking for something, you will find it. There’s a fine line between snooping and just making sure you’re not dating a convicted felon who was in jail for 20 years. You should probably keep your search to a minimum, one page, surface level type thing. Otherwise you might find yourself learning pretty private details about the person, and unless you’re an excellent bluffer – if you get to the point where he feels comfortable enough to tell you, it would be kind of awkward if you already knew when his Grandmama Katie died.

How do you explain that one?

Anyway, what do you all think? To Google or not to Google – that is the question. And while I’m fairly certain that a good 70% of my girls Google a guy before going out with him, do the mens? Is it you all’s dirty little secret that you don’t want us to know about?

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16 01 2013
OH, So Men Google Us Too, Eh? « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] year, I mentioned to you guys how a former co-worker of mine was shocked and appalled that women Googled men before going on dates. And while I thought (and still kinda believe) that his resistance was more generational than […]

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