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There’s nothing new about researching potential dates, especially in the era of social media and Craig’s List killers. It’s Just Lunch, a dating-service, surveyed more than 1,100 users of their site in 2011 to gauge how their clients use Google when dating. They found about 43 percent of people Google their dates, while 88 percent are comfortable being Googled.

It's Just Lunch

I am not a member of the 88 percent. No amount of normalcy associated with Googling a date or spouse lessens the creep factor associated with it.

Of course there’s a plus-side to conducting a Google search before heading to the restaurant or movie theater to meet a new beau. The search can reveal a violent criminal history or a Twitter timeline full of rape jokes. A dating blog recounts one extreme example of Googling-turned-savior:

In 2004, a New York City woman “Googled” her date only to find an FBI warrant out for his arrest. He had been dodging the law for nearly a year, stemming from stealing $100,000. When she decided not to turn up to dinner that Saturday, the Feds agreed to take her spot. This example is pretty extreme, but it does prove that by taking an innocent peek at someone’s online information, it’s possible to avoid a dangerous or awkward situation.

“Technology has changed so many things,” said Alana Beyer, senior communications manager for It’s Just Lunch. “It’s just a new avenue to learn about a new destination, a new book or your date.”

I had just started writing publicly when I went on a date in 2012. When we sat down for dinner and conversation, he knew more about me than I expected. He knew all of the nuances of my life, from my favorite television shows to my favorite color. Though I appreciated his interest, it was rather difficult to see-past his extensive investigation into my life. It was our first and last date, though I’m positive he’s commented on a blog post or two since we stopped communicating.

I might be in the minority here, so I turn this question over to you, the readers. It’s open thread time.

Should you Google your spouse Clutchettes and gents? Is it a violation of privacy? Have you ever Googled a date?

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  • I think its creepy to google someone to find out the nuances of their life…isn’t that what the date is for? I’d only be googling a date to make sure that the chance of them tying me up and throwing me in the back of a windowless van (among other things) are slim to none.

  • TT

    Yes of course you should google the other person. All of these people on Catfish should take note. If you’re online dating take precautions; if you sense something fishy all you have to do is google search images/the name. Since I’m looking for a job, I google myself once in a while to make sure my online identity is clean. I don’t want to give employers a reason not to consider me as a potential employee.

  • I google everyone and everybody. Just for kicks, just to gain more information, etc. I’ve never found anything crazy but it’s amazing all that you can find when you have someone’s full name and a tidbit of basic information.