I was at a gig this week, reveling in all the good music currently on offer, when I was approached by a new friend. We keep bumping into each other at events and share a loose connection via work. And while entertaining some small talk, he mentioned something that I know I didn’t tell him.
It was a small and insignificant fact, but still, he must have picked it up online as it’s not something we’ve ever discussed.
It made me wonder… Could I have been Googled?
At first I questioned why anyone would bother… but then I quickly realised that I also indulge. It’s quite an acceptable habit these days… right? Whether I’m interviewing someone, dating someone, or bumping into them at gigs, it’s almost like a form of research – like a cheat sheet. It saves time, and anything that saves times these days cannot be bad for you…
I discussed this with a friend yesterday and he’s of the opinion that this sort of “research” should never take place. We should discover information about each other through conversation and not by stumbling across a year’s worth of someone’s music and reading lists online. It strips all the fun and joy out of friendships. He went as far as to call it snooping.
Harsh, I know.
But his opinion has made me think. Do you think it’s cheating by Googling someone? Are there acceptable and unacceptable times to partake in this kind of research? And what if they put themselves out there with blogs or on Facebook and Twitter? Isn’t that the point of these things?