I, like most people, am the kind of person who uses the internet to prepare me for all kinds of things that I don’t know very well. If I’m trying out a new restaurant after work, I will definitely be searching for their menu and happy hours online. If we are about to have a meeting about a new program that we are going to use, I will take a few minutes to read an overview of the program. But there are DEFINITELY times that online preparation can give you too much information, leading to an awkward first encounter.
Let’s say that you were set up with a friend of a friend, who is apparently just your type (whatever that even means). You do a quick facebook/linkedin/twitter search for him in the taxi on your way there and find that he is successful, single, and loves to travel- he IS your type! Your date is going so well: he’s telling you about his vacation to Mexico that you already stalked and about his family that you’ve already seen photos of. He raves about his job position that you’ve already looked up and talks about his goals that you already could have predicted. He begins to tell you about this cool app that you can get on your phone and says he can install it for you. Before you realize what’s happening, he opens your browser and sees that every window open has something to do with his life.
AWKWARD, right? There’s literally no excuse besides… “Oh I put in your name to read about your company and came across all of your social networking sites instead, so I clicked around…” Then he also realizes that you already knew about everything that he told you over dinner and that all of your surprised and amazed reactions were rehearsed and fake. Although this might not be a deal breaker, he has definitely caught you red-handed with your bad stalking habits.
What are your thoughts on internet stalking? Does it take away from the fun of trying something new? Does it prepare you well for to expect- after all, a little online search MIGHT just reveal something important about the person you’re about to meet… criminal record anyone?!