When you have a blind date or are meeting an online match for the first time, it always crosses your mind, s hould I Google my date? Not only is it really awkward to try to guess which guy you're going to have dinner with as they walk into a restaurant (online profile pics can lie), but there's no valid reason to delay information about a potential partner. In the Internet age, information is more readily available than any other time in history. Are we supposed to ignore these technological advances and pretend we're still dating in the dark ages?
"People need to understand that we're in a new era right now," Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, director of the Center for Marketing Research at UMass Dartmouth, told Wired . "That era is one of complete transparency: You can see and hear and watch what people do more than we ever could before."
Turns out, people are Googling their doctors, their babysitters, and even their shrinks. So why not preemptively Google someone you could possibly end up spending the rest of your life with?
Conducting a thorough Google search before a first date can reveal vital details that can foster intimacy between two people. Does she share your love for Scandal? Did he study abroad in the same small town in Italy where you're family is from? This sort of personal information might not come up in conversation on the first, second, or even third date. You might even hookup with someone before getting to know what his/her favorite TV shows are.
In the same vein, a Google search might yield less-than-promising results. Is he/she still trading Facebook comments back and forth with their ex? Has he/she posted a rant against ever wanting to have kids? Is their Twitter full of offensive, off-colored jokes?
If Google happens to reveal that the person you're seeing is not a long-term match, for whatever reason, then it can be a helpful tool in deciding when to cut your losses. Sure, not everyone can be instantly judged by their Internet activity, and it's hard to reveal one's full personality online. But social media can be used discerningly to spot the most egregious red flags.
It may sound romantic to go on a first date and get to know the person slowly and in real life. But that may not be the most practical, most efficient dating routine. In fact, we're often advised to withhold information on a first date, as to make a better first impression. How many candle-lit interrogations would it take to find out that they're separated but has not yet filed for divorced? Most counties have state court filings online and accessible via Google.
Images: Giphy (2)