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Your Online Identity Could Ruin Your Love Life

It’s not just potential employers that are Googling your name, you also have to worry about your next date doing the same. According to AP, more people than ever are using Google as a free background checker, before deciding whether to risk dinner and a movie with someone.

The results can be enlightening, surprising and, sometimes, a little disturbing…In her dating life, she regularly did online research on her dates and turned up, among other things, “bizarre” fetishes and a guy who was fascinated with vampires.

It’s not just Google potential mates use to get the 411 on a new beau. Many young daters are digging into their social networks, using MySpace or Facebook to see what they can learn about their next date.

That was the case for Brad White, a 23-year-old recent college grad in Chicago, who met his current girlfriend through friends at a bar and immediately looked her up on Facebook. “The commonality of our music taste and friends is what prompted me to ask her out,” White says, “obviously, besides the attraction.”

While it’s sensible to do a little research on a potential partner, you shouldn’t trust everything you read online. Apart from many cases of mistaken identity (one woman shared the same name as a famous porn star), some quirks can’t be Googled.

…Danielle Martinetti says online research really only helps to a point, anyway. “The crazy stuff usually becomes apparent on the actual date,” the 30-year-old New Yorker says. “No amount of online searching is going to tell you that a person has issues with his mother, loves to be described as a George Clooney look-alike, has an overzealous obsession with hand sanitizer, or that he prefers to sit facing the door in a restaurant ‘just in case.’”

  • http://brandcurve.com Ron E.

    This is currently a huge hot topic everywhere I think. Not only can it ruin (or help, depends on how you see it) your love life, but even your work and career life.

    I don’t have any sources to cite, but around 3 months ago I read a story on a new-grad, who was in what seemed to be an endless job hunt; no one granting him a chance of employment. What he had no idea about, was that many of the employers he had been talking to had been checking him up on Facebook and Myspace and seen he’s party behavior in pictures and comments.

    Whether this is true or not, I think employers and employees (both), must be discerning and intelligent enough as to make this kind of research and take decisions based upon it.

    Thanks.
    Ron E.
    http://brandcurve.com

  • http://www.alibiproductions.com Drew Stauffer

    In a way your myspace or facebook account is the first date. First impressions can kill your next job as well as that possible hook-up.

  • rick gregory

    I’m just waiting for the first lawsuit out of someone being denied a job because they were googled… and the wrong person was found. You can google my name… but am I the artist? The fisheries researcher in Thailand? Neither?

    Too, people need to get off their high horse a bit… the manager or HR person denying someone an interview because of their party photos likely partied just as hard… there’s just no evidence of it. Especially in the jobs arena, we need to think about just how much we let companies demand of us. I know plenty of people who check email and voicemail on vacation, are always available via mobile… and now we have to be squeaky clean too?

    At base a job is an economic transaction… our professional experience, talents and time for some compensation. While other issues come into it (social fit, dedication, etc) at the end of the day I’m compensated a finite amount… I am uncomfortable with companies demanding 24×7 access, and a 360 degree view of me that they approve of. Oddly, even writing this comment makes me a bit nervous… will someone find it, not like my attitude and screen me out of an opportunity?