“Don’t ask my neighbors;
Don’t ask the friends I hang around…(uh-uh)
Don’t be afraid…
To come to me.
Don’t ask my neighbors; come to me…”
– The Emotions
To Google, or not to Google? That might be the question of the day.
I know I’ve registered my discomfort with this before, but it’s back—with a vengeance. Because now, I can’t seem to stop wondering how far down the wormhole “The Counselor” (see Day 48) might have gone to do pre-date recon on me; or how he might’ve tailored his presentation in response to what he found.
Yes, I realize that in this day and age, it’s irrational to think that Googling doesn’t—or shouldn’t—happen. In fact, I admit that I have done it—and have found some very necessary information (like, the five children a new beau had yet to disclose; or the charming male model who also turned out to be a registered sex offender—true story). A few other times, it might’ve saved me years of heartache (and broken trust), had I done a little preliminary research of my own…
But when you’re going on first dates with guys you’re only on a first-name basis with—and whose names are generally pretty common—it does create a rather unfair disadvantage, doesn’t it?
But when you have a unique name, notable career(s), and (other than the Miles Davis song you were named for) a few pages’ worth of Google results, we’re not exactly entering the ring armed with the same information, are we?
So…maybe the question isn’t whether or not to Google, but when to Google, and to what extent. I mean, I’ll concede that it’s entirely normal to want to know beforehand if your date has a criminal record—or in my case, has made records. But, it’s perhaps not-so-normal to boast that not only do you know all about her career and accolades, but are also very impressed by her mother’s multiple Emmy-nominations…
Say what, now? Sir, that’s just…overkill. I’m only repeating it here because I realize it’s a fact that even most of my closest friends don’t know. And what bearing does that have on our date, exactly?
Maybe I’m overreacting, but this hit such a sore spot with me—and maybe it’s just a first-world, glamour-girl problem. But I know enough dynamic, accomplished people (far more accomplished than I) to know I’m not the only one who feels that it’s often impossible to live up to the reputation that may precede you, courtesy of Google.
“I almost fell in love with you on Google,” the Counselor said, beaming at me.
No, Sir. If you fell for anyone, it was the girl you Googled, not me.
That’s not to say I haven’t actually earned the credits that may appear; but there’s also a fair amount of info that may be patently false. For instance, Wikipedia states my birthplace as Denver, though I’ve never set foot in Colorado (I have no idea why, and have yet to find a way to change it). So, if you’re hoping to lead with a discussion of the Broncos, the beauty of the Rockies and spring in the “Mile-High City”, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, and likely embarrassed.
But what’s more insidious is the sheer quantity of information available in the vortex that is Google. For all I know, this man could merely have a full track listing from my last album, or my credit and SAT scores. And to what end? We’re just having a drink, Honey.
And really, what difference does it make, if it possibly precludes the man from actually getting to know the woman sitting in front of him?
Repeatedly, over the past decade, I’ve found myself the unfortunate runner-up to someone I can never fully compete with—the girl on Google. Frankly, I think she’s got a lot more ground yet to cover, but I’ve got to give it to her—that girl is all image and interview, resume and representation. She’s a rock star, a fashion plate, and damn-near debutante who’d likely make one hell of a trophy wife (or at least, great arm candy for your next big outing). What’s not to love?
Me? I’m a bit more…complex.
I have opinions, politics, and sometimes, pain. I have insecurities, neuroses, cellulite, and a voice that is occasionally raised in anger (or is just too damned loud, in general). I have debts, and doubts and a disturbing tendency to play devil’s advocate—despite not believing in the devil, or that he/she/it deserves an advocate, should he/she/it actually exist.
I shed real, grown-woman tears. I age. I get down; low down, sometimes. I make mistakes. And occasionally, I embarrass myself—in ways Google Girl would never dare.
But I’m live; she’s Memorex. I am flesh and blood and heart and soul and sitting right in front of you, waiting for you to stop comparing me with someone I either once was, or never will be. Just me—sitting here, sipping my wine, waiting for you to mentally sift through all the information you think you already know. And get to know me.