Written nearly ten years ago, this article is just as relevant now as it was then. Except that I'm not sure how that much time has managed to fly by but I digress. Here's what I had to say then and exactly what I'd like to say now:
Would it astonish you to know that 43% of people Google someone before their first date?
Search engines call out: "I can satisfy your curiosity!" and "It'll only take a minute!" and "What harm can it do?". Your itchy fingers are poised above the keyboard, wondering how you'd feel if someone was Googling you or snooping through your Facebook account, and next thing you know, you've typed their name in and are either disappointed because you haven't discovered a thing or your heart skips because you've uncovered nuggets of information.
Two unfair things happen when you do this:
You form an opinion of them, right or wrong, before you've given them a chance to tell you themselves plus you've removed part of the excitement that surrounds getting to know one another. Now you have to sit through your first date pretending you don't already know some of the things they're telling you or you have to fess up and say you looked them up online. Having to pretend you don't know something as they explain it to you is rather ridiculous, however let's back up. What if you don't like what Facebook or Google has to say? Do you believe everything you read and cancel the date or do you soldier on? Quite the predicament, only you can answer that question.
You can try to convince yourself that this type of online sleuthing is a small extension of online dating, however it's not. The internet is a jumble of information, both useful and useless, all of which we don't necessarily have control over and therefore, shouldn't always trust. The more you learn online, the less you learn in fun, old-fashioned face-to-face conversation which is an intimate form of communication you need even on a first date.
All of that said...
Just in case someone has the same itchy fingers and is looking you up online, Google yourself to make sure you like what you find. Does a picture you dislike appear? Has someone posted something about you that you aren't aware of? It's easy to be naive when it comes to what information about you is actually out there.
Every online dater will naturally want more information about their potential suitor. Nobody will judge you there. However, next time your fingers feel the itch to research, keep this article in mind. Too much information ahead of time could be detrimental whereas it would be much more interesting to actually go on the date and simply trust your gut instinct. If you simply can't resist looking them up, I truthfully understand your curiosity, and wish you the best of luck regardless of how you get to know your potential love interest!
Much love and happy dating,