Years ago when Google was fairly new to the world, my friends and I would sit together at a computer and Google our own names. Pictures of fat bald men who were unfortunate enough to share our names would turn up. We’d all have a good laugh!
As search engines have turned more powerful and more people around the world began to create online profiles, it has become increasingly commonplace to Google someone before meeting them. Mostly, it’s to find conversation starters – what has this person achieved? Where did they study and work? Perhaps you’ll look them up on Facebook and Instagram too.
Now, a lot of people are asking on the internet whether it’s appropriate to Google someone before seeing them in person for the first time. Many people feel like it might be an invasion of privacy to check out people’s online profiles. They feel like stalkers, so they avoid it.
It’s okay and yes, you should Google people. A little background can’t possibly hurt. On the contrary, it’ll give you a good idea on what to talk about with them.
Some people present themselves as the most ideal citizens possible, but they might just be hiding something. A quick online search can help you find out more about their dark side, before you end up discovering it in person. After all, it’s so easy to lie, isn’t it?
People do exaggerate all the time. We live in a world where anyone can say anything about themselves in their online profile. Since humans believe what they want to believe, it’s so easy to fall into their trap. No one ever tells the whole truth at a meeting. Some people might be dubious characters, but obviously they won’t tell you that about them. An online search might just turn up news articles of what they’ve done in the past!
Whether or not you choose to tell them you’ve Googled them, however, is up to you. My advice? Don’t. “I checked out your Instagram profile last night and saw pictures from five years ago” is not how you want to make a first impression, right?
Also, don’t forget to Google yourself! That’s not creepy at all, it’s the smartest thing you could do. You want to know what others might see in case they look you up online before they meet you. Look up your name on Google regularly or set up a Google alert for your own name. You might be surprised by what you find!
One you’ve done that and are ready to network, check out Ohai app – a new way to network with people around you. Download now from the Play Store!
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