Thursday, July 31, 2008

I know what you did last summer. And yesterday.

I decided yesterday night that I was going to give online dating another shot. I updated my profile (I hate writing those!), uploaded some recent pictures and looked to see if there's anyone I'm interested in and found this one guy in my neighborhood that seemed interesting. Unfortunately, because I'm a standard member I can only see thumbnails instead of the larger pics and I can't tell how cute he is. Regardless I email him because he's nearby, a vegetarian, into technology, likes Macs, and seemed interesting enough.

Because I can't see the larger pictures I do a search on his username, just in case. By the way, I do not use my alter-ego on dating sites because of what happened next: The guy's dating username? It's his web alter-ego name as well. In one search I find:
  1. his personal blog
  2. his professional blog
  3. his twitter account
  4. his full name
  5. the Meetup he belongs to
Just to list five because there's more.

I'm not interested in reading his stuff - I don't know this guy - all I want is to see a larger photograph. So I do one more search and add the term "flickr" and find his photos. Bingo.

It's great to hit the motherload but I didn't have to work at it at all. It was too easy. How disappointing. I like my cyberstalking to have some hurdles so I can flex my search muscles, really get creative and feel awesome when I finally hit paydirt. There's no fun in this! There's no mystery to be solved. People are getting really comfortable with sharing their identity online that they're removing all the fun and challenge of finding their info.

Oh well. He looks cute in his photos.


Clau said...

OH MY GOD! I just did this to a guy I've been chatting with on Match. We exchanged emails, so I Googled his email address. Found out his full name, where he works, what he does, ect.

Am I crazy for cyberstalking? Or is it the new norm? This was going to be a future post.

vivzan said...

As I wrote the post, I was like, "Clau is soooo going to understand!"

I don't think you're crazy for cyberstalking. I think everyone does it now, since myspace and facebook. There are sites dedicated just to cyberstalking (peekyou, yoname, rapleaf to name a few).

Chelc said...

I'm so glad I didn't have to deal with this when I was dating! Sorry, I hate to say it 'cause I'm the old off-the-market married person, and I don't like to bring that up, but I like the world of finding out things about someone from them.

Don't laugh, but I actually saw part of a Tyra show where she sent a girl out on 2 dates - one with someone she had Googled (and found a ton of stuff on), and the guy's twin brother whom she didn't know beforehand and couldn't do a search on. She had a better time on the second date because they found out things about each other on the date. The first one she just sounded like a stalker!

So I guess the moral of the story? You can Google them, just don't tell them all the stuff you found out about them! Hahaha. Apparently it's pretty common, though. It's a new generation where people are proud to put up personal information on the web. I'm still getting used to it. I like to be hard to find usually.

BTW, I'm very curious to see how things progress with this guy! It's like a little science experiment (hmm, is that bad?).

vivzan said...

Chelc - I like finding stuff out from people, too. I didn't read any of his stuff, I really was out just to find a photo. It's boring to read about someone you don't know. (always surprised when strangers read my blog!)

Normally, I do google a person I like (friend or otherwise) after I meet them, though.

Chelc said...

Viv - I can totally understand wanting to see a picture - thumbnails are just teasing! I admire you guys for putting yourselves out there, though. I don't know that I'd have the guts to do it!

vivzan said...

Chelc - I've done online dating a few times and honestly, none of them were great experiences. I actually want to pull my profile down and it's only been up for 24 hours! There's this "add to cart" mentality (I'm guilty of it too) that I find doesn't happen in real life. Things that you think you're looking for and write down are very different than the chemistry you feel when you meet someone.

I'm trying to give it a shot as I'm hopeless when it comes to meeting people in real life. But I don't know why since it hasn't worked out in the past. I really would just like to meet someone in person, not online.

Ugh, I should just delete my profile!