Bing Before You Go

The unspoken rule about Googling a date.

13 August 2009

I was insanely curious about this guy I’ve been emailing back and forth with, and basically just directly asked him to tell me more about himself because…like I said…curiosity killed the cat. One would hope a lengthy response on the part of said email buddy would satisfy the cat. But not this cat. No sirree. Like your gossipy neighbor Shirlene driving at a snail’s pace past a crazy car wreck, I read and re read the email in slow motion and then, sans hesitation, began to wildly Google him. I scrolled through the list random hits completely comprised of nothing I was actually searching for. Well, shit. And I call myself the master Googler, I thought and turned on Weeds to drown my unsuccessful sorrows before I hit the hay.

goldman sachs buildingAt 6:45 a.m. I woke up. Never one to take defeat lightly, I turned on my bright and shiny MacBook Pro and retyped in his name. This time inconsistent Google offered me an option with a company attached to it.  From this I learned oh tons of things like his work, how much he donated one year, his previous marriage New York Times announcement (um, cheesy), information on his family, his college and (gulp) his ex-wife. A couple years ago I would be embarrassed to even write this, but now everyone does it. So whatever. I attempted Google Image but nothing came up. (Then I Google Imaged myself to make sure I looked okay, and every single image I have ever posted in conjunction with a TVC article came up! How mortifying!)

Later that day I recounted every last detail of my search to my mother, who replied, “What happened to the days where you go out to dinner and learn about someone?”

“Oh, those days are long over.”

But the actual date is still necessary. Even though I turned into a nocturnal cyber hawk, many traits remain unknown. I don’t know his subtleties, type of humor, whether he likes to share food, has a nervous tick, likes movies with talking animals, etc. So even if you detest his college, think he could stand to lose 5 lbs and don’t ski, go on the date. Should circumstances permit me to do so, I would not lead on to the fact that I both Googled and Binged him – with Bing actually providing more accurate photographs of both dude and me. Personally, I think it’s best to just keep your mouth shut and let them go on about what school they went to, where they vacationed last year, where they work, blah blah blah. Despite the ubiquitous means for acquiring information, we needn’t blab our stalking skills on dates. Would you want him to sit down at dinner and say, “So I know you went to UVA, don’t eat red meet, ran a 5K in 25 minutes in 2007 and have a pet Labrador. But I couldn’t find the dog’s name”?

Heavens no! There is an unspoken rule about Googling a date: You are allowed to do it, but you are not allowed to speak of it or hint at any information that you couldn’t find from verbal digging. I don’t make the rules people, I only report them.

Happy Binging.

Emma Dinzebach

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Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 11:00 PM
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