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Researching Your Date: How Much Is Too Much?

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**Admin Note**

Today we got a treat. A guest post from the boy Drew-Shane! Read, Comment, and Enjoy!



One Love,

Boomer

Streetz

*****

Let’s be honest. Have you ever tried to Google or Facebook someone you just met?

It’s Saturday night and you’re out with your people. All real fancy like. Yes, you fancy, huh. You’re at the bar about to order your favorite drink then someone catches your eye. To skip the chase, needless to say, you get the digits.

During your first conversation over the phone, you both gather some personal information about each other. You found out where they work, their views on dating and what intrigued them about you. So far you enjoy the conversation because they seem like a pretty nice person. Because of past experiences you may want to dig a little deeper- if not, think about it.

Well maybe not as far as Google but let’s go with Facebook.

If we’re being honest, when I first meet someone I do a quick search on Facebook or even Google to see what information comes up. I’m not a fan of adding anyone to my social network if we’re dating either. But this can go beyond dating. This could be a new classmate, coworker or even colleague who has given me their business card at a networking function. We’ve all heard the stories about prospective jobs and colleges utilizing social networks to “gauge” their selections. So why can’t we do it for someone we’re dating?

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Facebook, well social networking is a powerful tool. You can find out so much information on a person’s Facebook page. Pending how much information we put on our Facebook page, we might as well call it our online personal resume. People complain about how their privacy is being invaded on Facebook, yet still willingly offer intricate details about their lives. Here’s some advice to those who frequent social networking sites, if you don’t want people to know don’t put it online. You could only be a search a way.

But does information have to be so transparent that the task of searching for someone on Facebook or Twitter we just met could be accomplished so easily?

Social networking has been around for more than over a decade and we’re all are guilty in indulging. Before the addictive craze known as the Facebook and Twitter, you were a part of some social network that has died and gone to Internet Heaven like Myspace, Blackplanet or Livejournal. So with a generation full of internet savvy individuals, it’s no wonder networking sites are getting a second a wind and becoming less transparent. Although social networking has been around since AOL began giving free 120-hour trial Internet service on CDs, Internet usage has made grown in making our personal lives more accessible.

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Some would argue that using the internet to research information about a person is shallow and an invasion of privacy. Is it really an invasion of privacy if the information is put out there for everyone to read? Facebook and Twitter can quickly be a stalker’s haven or what I like to call it an advanced researcher’s query. I say practice this with discretion. We live in the budding age where we want everything at our fingertips—and, somehow, we need our information to come in as soon as we push the handy ‘search’ button.

Please take caution with all the social networking sites and technology being so transparent, let’s not forget to use our words and actually communicate. How else would you get to know a person, by asking them questions? Don’t judge a book by its cover or even the preface you’ve read without reading the pages in between.

Even though I know most won’t admit, what do you guys think about using social networking sites to “prescreen” an individual? How much is too much?

Drew-Shane. @heardHIMsaywww.heardhimsay.com

Comment(74)

  1. what do you guys think about using social networking sites to “prescreen” an individual?

    ^^^at times, i look a facebook pages but sometimes it's to see when their birthday is. Honestly, if i have to look at their page (more than once in a month), it means we aren't communicating & more than likely, that venture is dead.

    How much is too much?

    ^^^stalking their profile.

    I have had guys add me to facebook, it didn't/doesn't bother me so much…i thought of it as another means of communication. I'm not on facebook as much as i used to be though…my response probably would've been different a year ago.

    Good post.

  2. Sometimes I'll check out a facebook page but I wouldn't add you as friend or look you up anywhere else. My facebook is private so people won't get anything but a picture there and I keep my twitter private mostly because I talk about my job all damn day. People do look at twitters and facebooks though. I know my opinions of people have changed because of things I've read.

  3. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH people. there's nothing wrong with pre-screening someone after meeting them. I feel that's what some social networks are for (facebook especially). I know of many people, who use social networks to "investigate" someone they may have just met at the club, outside the club, in the mall, etc. It's normal & nothing to be ashamed of.

    Hell, these days you have to know what you're getting yourself into, and with the world becoming smaller day-by-day, it's ALWAYS good to know what "mutual friends" we have in common — that's usually my answer to EVERYTHING.

  4. I never think of actually looking people up on Facebook or Twitter or Google … maybe if I'm bored I'll Google myself and make sure that people can't learn too much about me … which doean't help since whatever I post on face book is somehow linked to other things that are public …

    So … yea … I don't have it in me to search out someone on the social network & if I'm that suspicious I won't deal with the person

  5. i think that, yes you should use the available resources to your advantage. not everyone is honest about themselves when first meeting someone. most guys are about putting their best foot forward to impress their date and not every woman is going to wear a sign that says : these are the side effects!…i think however you do need to be cautious with how you intepret and take in the information you get. it may skew your preception of them without knowing the complete of that person and what has brought them to be.

  6. As an active dater both on and offline I find FB to be a useful tool in discerning a lady's SO potential. I also upon request will happily grant access to my page so I can be viewed "unfiltered" so to speak. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't because the "me" you see is the "me" I be

    1. I reserve fb for friends but every now and then I pitty accept someone out of kindness like a date, etc. (as quickly as I can accept is as quick as I can delete) You can get ALOT of info from FB. People may not like it but it's basically a view into how you converse with friends, incriminating pics, and if you are REALLY single or not. lolol

      1. If I'm dating someone or just met someone, I don't immediately add them to my Facebook. I kinda keep that a little more personal for various reasons. I don't mind when people find out I blog and write but sometimes people want to know too much about what I do. I'm very secretive (well mysterious as the signs would say), so what I'm a Scorpio.

      2. Just to clarify (in my Rick James "eff your couch" interview) I don't add people just to add people…..but yeah I add people cause my profile is private and like I said it is a glimpse at me….but I know we can both agree that there's a reason "delete" and "delight" sound so similar

  7. A friend of mine was dating a guy that she met. He was working as a security guard in her office building. He was single, no kids and they began to date. She couldn't understand why when things went to the next level he would always take her to a hotel and not his apartment.

    He said that he was a college graduate, but yet he was working as a security guard. We both began to research him and found out that although he did attend college he never finished. He was single without children, but he eventually told her that the reason why he never took her to his apartment was because he was renting a room and was embarassed.

    Eventually everything fell into place. They're still dating, but there was a whole web of lies and deceit that had to be waded through to get to the bottom of things.

  8. If you want to know something about me—just ask! If you don't trust what I tell you—something is wrong already anyway so kick rocks.

    My facebook page is for my real family and friends only, so if someone purposely searches for me, you would just see just that.

    I would not waste my time trying to find dirt or anything else about a person online–because people are more complex than what is posted on the internet.

    I also enjoy getting to know people the old fashion way, which is full of lovely yet sometimes scary surprises.

    1. The "funny" thing is dating is supposed to let you get to know someone. If folks are doing all this outside research why date? Just do the google/facebook/twitter/etc check and jump right into marriage.

  9. I am all down for pre screening! I look at the info specially intersts.

    If we have no interests in common is an indicative we prolly won't have shyt to talk about.

    Yea I am also guilty of going through pictures. What?!? Don't act like you never done it.

    But that's the initial stuff after pre-screening if you good money then social networks.

    If you were not my fb friend before then am not adding you and same rules apply to twitter.

    People seem to have this crazy idea that the world revolves around them. Sorry to break it to you but all my tweets are NOT about you.

    Ms. Dulce de Leche aka I Blocked/Unfollowed/Defriended You Because I Care About You.

      1. Just your facebook…and a heardhimsay.com and projectduh but I don't know it's that's you or not. Are you the same Drew-Shane Daniels that lives in philly and comes from dallas, tx? You wrote something on a soultrain blog I think. 🙂 I found that out in 2 mins.

  10. I am a certified internet detective so yeah I look for people that I just met or am involved with online. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google are a must for me. I'm not looking for dirt though, I just like information.

    Because I'm like this, I expect that everyone I meet will be the same way so I also search myself to see what they might be seeing and adjust accordingly.

  11. "Google me, and you getting kicked out the house." – Dr. J

    With that said, this is so wild to me, this let me google you, or facebook you phenomenon. Facebook, ok that's cool, if you want to join my social network and learn more about me. LinkedIn, ok you want to find out if I really am a secret agent. (Dummy, of course my LinkedIn profile only shows the company I work for.) But when you start google'ing me, background checks, criminal history, and sex offender list checks, I have to draw the line.

    Why?!!??!??!?!? Because you need to check, because you've been lied to in the past? You can never trust teh words that someone says? Listen to me, ladies and gentlemen, if you don't believe what they say, don't eff with them, period. Don't even wait for the bus with them. You need to be able to trust a person's word. Now if you have trust issues because you've been lied to in the past, you need to seek medical attention, seriously, go talk to someone and work that out. But if you can't take someone's word, here's a short list of things you shouldn't be doing with them: dating, exchanging personal information, and having s*xual relations.

    End of story. No need to explain why you google'ed someone or facebook stalked them. You shouldn't be looking to see if everything checks out, if you are looking they already don't check out.

    1. What if you're not doing it to see whether everything checks out, but just because you're curious? Then is it okay <del>that I Googled you</del> to internet creep someone?

    2. you guys realize that this kind of attitute only helps liars right?

      I fail to see why I need to trust people I don't know?

      I don't have trust issues, I trust people… my people. Have me falling in love with a con man.

      (II).

        1. Funny you ask.. my b,ank is installing extra features to collect da+a on our c.ustome.rs (hope I don't get fired to saying this).

          We already ask if they are doing any risky transactions, but for the saftey of the b.ank we inquire but its not enough to just say 'the Banker didn't think the person is lying'. We needed to add another layer of questioning for people to pass through, making it harder on terrorist. Its not that we are trying to do business with them, they are trying to do business with us.

      1. I'm sorry but to me, if you are assuming everyone is lying upon meeting them you have trust issues. Even if its on a minor scale.

        I'm not saying believe everything they tell you but you get what I mean.

        1. I'm not assuming they are lying, I just don't know if they are telling the truth.

          Once again, its not everyone. Its people I don't know. Strangers have to earn trust. Why do I need to just hand it out? Over the course of time, you show me you are trust worthy.

          Until than, what you tell me will not be considered a fact or a lie, just something you told me.

          case in point you tell me you drive a benz (stupid example, sorry). But I never seen it…

          If someone ask me if Animated drives a benz, I would say:

          "I don't know. Haven't seen it. But he said he drove a Benz."Its not that I think you are lying, I just aint see you in it and I don't really know you like that.

    3. I don't think you have to go to the full extent of doing a professional background check on someone. Now that's too much- hence the question; how much is too much? A quick Facebook or Google search never hurt anyone. People lie online just as well as offline.

  12. Well I see nothing wrong in checking out someone's facebook only after a couple dates, give the person a chance to tell what you need to know, and I'm confident that I will know all I need to know eventually anyways.

    Now sex offender registry, even though this doesn't cross my mind, if it does I will be checking you if it does, no matter if we just met or 6 years later. I do not want to end up on 20/20 being asked how come my husband of 20 yrs was a serial rapist and I never knew.

  13. Oh, if you have kids though, anyone man that your dating and thinking of bringing around them you should definitely look them up on the sex offender registry *child abuse advocacy for the day*

    1. I get this; however, do you know how many serial rapist or child molesters have never been arrested?

      Uncle Chester needs a woman so he can leave the kids alone right…lol…jk!

      All this to say…some things you just cannot control.

      I would want to stop something bad from happening just as the next person, but most people are looking to foresee potential heartbreak or just plain be nosy.

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, if you have nothing to hide…what's the problem right? I get this logic.

      IMO, Facebook, twitter, etc are not really going to tell you much about a person; people are too shallow on those things…it is information inside a person’s head and heart and that cannot be found on the net.

  14. I never look anyone up for research. Then again, I've yet to have a really decent man (not addicted to drugs) in my life, so maybe I should.

    This post has put that Google Me song in my head.

      1. I haven't even heard the whole thing, just caught a snippet on The Soup. So, I only have that one part playing over and over, which makes it 10x worse.

        Woe is me.

  15. I gotta agree with Dr. J. If I have to do background searches on you, I probably shouldn't have talked to you in the first place.

    As for someone researching me, go ahead. Google, Facebook, search all you like. You ain't gonna find nothing, and you'll get more information about me after the first date than you'll find in cyberspace. Add the fact that I have a common name, and you'd be hard-pressed to even find a photo of me online, so all that searching will be ultimately futile.

    1. My first name is somewhat unique and my last name is the most common name ever…still it takes to page 2 of Google to find my LinkedIn profile-boooring. Blip on page 12 of a FB comment….riveting stuff to a new romantic prospect *deadpan* If he's really crazy persistent he'll find a kick @ss article detailing the RBI double I hit that sent my team to State our senior year…that's the extent of it. Honestly "Starita34" has much more info floating around the internet than MyRealName does.

      It says that there are 19 people with my first and last name in the US…#ThingsThatAreOnlyInterestingToMe #GrosslyUnderestimated

      People with my name are either artists or sex columnists…I can't draw.

    2. I guess if you cross-reference "Hugh Jazz" with "SBM", some of the threads here pop up. But someone would have to know that was my screen name first.

      Google my name with my hometown, and my LinkedIn page is one of the entries, but given that I never use it, all you'll find out is where I work. Which I'd tell someone if they asked.

      Unless you're some expert hacker, you're just not getting much info about me online.

  16. I won't lie- I've facebooked a guy or two. Mostly someone that I meet in passing and I'm trying to see if he's still as attractive as I thought he was, etc.

    I've only ever googled one guy. He approached me at a bar and after brief introduction immediately began talking about who he was and what he did. Granted it was DC so that kind of talk was typical- but when he went to the bathroom I certainly type his info into my phone to check up on that. no shame.

  17. Bottom line is this you can TRY researching someone through Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. but at the end of the day you STILL will not fully know all you need to know about that person. PEOPLE LIE!!!!!!

  18. Being a certified old head…..I still don't get facebook. I see many work contacts on facebook and always wonder why anyone would want to chance a meeting of their college buddies and their current supervisor. Man the stories my inggaz could tell.

    But anyway….if you Google me all you'll find out is where I work. I do it every now and then just to see if anyone is talkin about me online. 🙂

    But the whole facebook thing…..definitely not my thing.

    1. But the whole facebook thing…..definitely not my thing.

      I ain't even gonna lie I was hooked on FB for a minute 3 years ago but now I may log on 2x a month plus I have the app on my BB so if someone hits me up in my message inbox/wall or friend request I get a notification respond accordingly and sign off. I'M OVER IT.

      #Yawns

  19. Oh how could I forget. Don't forget to check your state's sex offender registry. Like three or four dudes I went to high school with are on the one for my state.

    Last time I turned somebody on to that on another website I frequented….the girl came back and said she lived near an offender and he speaks to her children all the time. So defintely check that. But like Beef said….not all offenders are there.

  20. I am quite skilled in learning about a person via the internet. People swear you can get no information, than I start telling them about themselves. I am a memory bank. I don't know how many times I had to correct someone about their own lives.

    And you may think you are hidden, but I can find you. Facebook isn't fool proof. You may be private but is everyone who tags you in a photo with them?

    I come from a different e-world. On those hiphop message boards there are real gangsta nerds. They use to send girls who refused to post pics of themselves people a virus in an email that would capture your key strokes. Than boom! We would have what we called an expose'. All your passwords and accounts (facebook, myspace, cell phone, bank accounts email address).

    I remember this one girl, CaliDreaming I think, she refused to be someone's eboo. This dude went in. Hacked her ish. Turns out she was doing live webchats to pay her bills. Posted all that online. Got her email, found letters to her babyfather begging for money. Got her bank account, posted statements showing she at 15cents in her ish. Than emailed her mother the nude vidoes saying 'this is what your daughter is doing for money. and she is a cocktease too.'

    Needless to say she deleted her account.

      1. No but they shut down Allhiphop's message board community for a couple of months…. not sure if those incidents were related.

        He had some common sense, so he blacked out bank account numbers and private stuff before he posted it. But I think he still left phone number, so people would call and ask when her next live show was.

        it was bad. different kind of people than here. different environment

    1. While it is quite possible to get into someone's system if people take the right precautions then one will be fine. It's simple internet security. Not like you would be hacking into some government mainframe to acquire state secrets. Most users don't even keep their AV up to date beyond the initial period when they first purchase their computer.

  21. I research "things" for a living so yes, I look up folks time to time. Not people I've just met for the hell of it–I've never facebooked someone I just met unless they asked for mine and had a hard time finding me (my page is private).

    Most of the time I google folks is if I already suspect they are lying about something, so I agree with Dr. J there. its not just men either, it could be ANYBODY. If my spidey senses go off I will fact check. I also like to know things, knowledge is power. I prefer to get info the old fashioned way though–by actual conversations and observations.

    I also google myself to make sure I know whats out there about me. not much, btw.

  22. Oh, since people are mentioning sex offender lists I must implore that people learn how people actually get on a sex offender list. It isn't always for some of the worst stuff you can imagine. It's sometimes for being 17 and having sex with your 16 year old girlfriend while you are in high school. If parents press charges then you are screwed. It will vary by state.

    1. That is beyond true. However different states will actually tell you the crime on the website.

      But some of these states unjustly prosecute chex crimes if you are black and in the south

  23. I Google myself all the time, why wouldn't I Google you? Now, I prefer to talk to people, and get to know them through stimulating conversation. I've never Facebooked a man, unless he tried to add me as a friend, and I did a little digging before I accepted his request. However, if I feel like something is a little off, I will Google you. Especially if you tell me you are something you are not.

    Example:

    Boy meets girl at local neo-soul concert. Girl is beautiful and ambitious. Say she's a lawyer who used to work for Cheatum & Howe, and now owns her own business. Boy is also a lawyer, YAY!! As the convo continues, Boy notices that Girl doesn't seem to know basic things about the local Bar Association, and she looked confused when he asked her about CLEs. But, she's fine, so Boy sticks by her side throughout the concert. After the concert, Boy and Girl exchange numbers. Boy goes home, Googles Girl, finds out she has an account with Model Mayhem, and dropped out of college to pursue her modeling career. Her portfolio consists of local club flyers and a spot on a local rappers' BET Uncut video. Boy erases Girls number. Disaster diverted…

    1. LOL….Yep. I know of dudes I went to school with that did not finish but keep the phantom degree on there resumes since many places don't do proper background checks. Also knew dudes that were on campus everyday with a backpack and books and not even enrolled. Some straight mentirosas out here. 🙂

  24. Facebook and Google combined have made finding anyone easy. Except for me. Just like Nia, I've googled myself. Sucks cuz I found my name, zip code and ENTIRE family's names just from my first name and birthday.

    This internet stuff kinda scares me. I wonder if I can go back and delete everything. I'm going to do that (or at least try) before the year is over.

    Some would argue that using the internet to research information about a person is shallow and an invasion of privacy. Is it really an invasion of privacy if the information is put out there for everyone to read? Facebook and Twitter can quickly be a stalker’s haven or what I like to call it an advanced researcher’s query. I say practice this with discretion. We live in the budding age where we want everything at our fingertips—and, somehow, we need our information to come in as soon as we push the handy ‘search’ button.

    Please take caution with all the social networking sites and technology being so transparent, let’s not forget to use our words and actually communicate. How else would you get to know a person, by asking them questions? Don’t judge a book by its cover or even the preface you’ve read without reading the pages in between.

    This entire part spoke to me…personally. *sigh* way too much going on. Great post. 🙂

  25. I've Googled myself plenty of times, just to see what's out there and what people can find out about me if they're curious.

    That being said, I've also googled some folks I've met here. Not to be "stalker-ish" but learn more about them because they're interesting to me. I've found that a bunch of people on here have their own blogs [that I peruse from time to time] and also follow a few people I've met here on Twitter.

    I'm trapped in a cubicle from 7AM to 5 and sometimes later depending on what projects we're working on so aside from seeing flesh/blood friends on the weekends online is my only outlet for interacting with new people.

    [INSERT SAD VIOLIN MUSIC HERE] :0[

    So I'll continue to google search folks and learn more about my cool new cyber-neighbors…

    {Sane, SFG, NIA, Star, Nikk} :0*

    1. Bucket List:

      Fall in love

      – Be loved

      Outdoor lovin

      – Marriage

      – Kids

      Buy a house

      – Travel abroad

      – Milk a prostate

      Be googled

      Thanks Eddie 😉

    2. the only interesting people you have met on these blogs are young single hot women with sexy pics in their avatars??

      0__O

      Sorry Eddie. But you got too many of my favorites on that list for me not to hate.

  26. Yall ever Googled someone and got their address? I Googled an ex girlfriend and some free software I guess scans public records for mortgages etc. It gave me her exact address. Too much info out here. Not to mention that Google street ish got my whole neighborhood on the internet. You can even see cars in the driveway. If you live in a major city your house might be on there.

  27. Forget just checking Facebook, I check to see if you're wanted by the police and what you've been convicted of, if anything. You'd be surprised at how many guys have told me they're straight arrows, but have been convicted of assault or theft.

  28. I was unsearchable on FB until I created an account for potential snooping ass mofokies employers. Two random pics if they must know what I look like, past school info, and tossed in a few friends for good measure. Tis also supposed to serve for people who want to keep in touch, but who I don't need to have access to me beyond the inbox level. There isn't too much information to be found about me online (google-wise + attached to my name) other than the basics. I'm somewhat apprehensive when a person of interest sends a friend request, because only Zordon knows what kind of madness he might come across. I'm pretty random, but overall, my page is tame.

    I rarely search people out, and when I do, it's out of interest & mild curiosity. I came across a post with this blog's authors' twitter pages, and I took a brief glance at each in turn. I've seen one's FB page. When someone piques my interest, I look through pictures, notes, etc, to get a general sense of who they are, but I have yet to use FB & Google for serious investigative pursuits.

  29. Good piece, Drew! I would encourage people to use whatever is available to them when dating anyone because it's a dangerous world out there, and we should do whatever is possible to protect ourselves from those who would wish to do us harm. I don't think that there is really too much a person can do to investigate a person who he or she is dating, especially if he or she just met the person. Whenever I hook up with people online, I check everything that is reasonably available to me. Yep, Facebook and Google should be used.

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