Q: I met a guy on OKCupid. We’ve IMed, and he’s asked me out, which is all fine. But I can’t Google him, and he’s not on Facebook or even on LinkedIn. I notice I feel uncomfortable about going out with him. Am I crazy? I don’t think he’s a serial killer or anything but even my 76-year-old Cincinnati grandmother shows up on a Google search these days!
He Said: I must confess my first reaction to your question was that you were indeed crazy and needed to step away from your computer when you are not at work and spend some disconnected time at the beach, mountains, or desert because there are plenty of amazing people who are not yet living in the big e-hive many of us buzz around in. Then I did a few searches and was surprised how long it took to find someone I knew who was only showing up on the White Pages. Clearly our days of anonymity are numbered, even for grandparents in the hinterland of America.
But I still have faith that even in SF there are date-worthy people—no one knows how many of course—who are not Googleable. To check one out before a face-to-face encounter, you may have to rely on some old-school technique like arranging to meet him in a public place, where you can watch from a distance unnoticed for a little while. Just make sure that cell service is available so you can take a photo of him and upload it for review on Facebook before actually meeting him. Kidding.
She Said: Not only do I think he's probably perfectly safe (he's on OKCupid, after all), I think he might also be damn interesting. Not so much because you can't find him on Google, but because he's Facebook-less.
These days, it takes self-control to stay away from what I've come to envision as a huge virtual living room in a dorm, where everyone's feeling a little lazy, possibly even a little stoned: like they just want to veg out on the couch for a while, and maybe talk to themselves but be in proximity of others. Or if they do talk to each other, it's only in one-sentence bursts. Just ask any of your friends who've complained about it but continue to check it daily, or anyone who's tried getting off it. The fact that he's not on it may speak well of him. Who knows: Maybe he spends that time reading, or rock climbing, or throwing dinner parties. There's only one way to find out, but yes—do it in a public place.
Photo: Mike Licht/NotionsCapital.com via Flickr