Please don’t Google me
This week for my column, I was going to turn my crazy notebook scribbles into the best damn thing you’ve ever read. Instead, I’d like to tell you a little story about my online dating experience. I’ve been going back and forth for a few weeks now debating whether or not I actually want to write about my experience. My problem is that I never really knew how to go about it. I think after this column, I’m going to start.
It all started a few months ago when I halfheartedly decided to sign up for the dating site my good friend told me about. She met a boyfriend on there and I actually met one as well last year. I deleted my first account after I met him and started up this new one after we broke up. It was kind of funny to be back on there with a different username because people I’d once talked to, using my old account, contacted me again. They obviously didn’t know it was me. One guy actually told me he had only been on there for a few months, when in actuality, he’s been on there for more than a year. Why lie about that? I’m not going to judge you for being single and using a dating website. I’m in the same boat as you.
On Thursday, I was farting around on my phone when the dating site’s app let me know I had a new message. I’ve been ignoring this particular site because I’ve been dedicating all of my time to another site. I’m a serial profile maker — what can I say. The second site is my favorite between the two, so I’m not too sad about what happened.
I open the message and it’s a freaking novel. At first, I wasn’t going to read it but then I thought to myself, this person took time out of their day to first read my profile and then send me a message. It would be rude not to see what they have to say.
This guy starts off by telling me a little about himself. Seems totally normal right? As I continue reading, I realize I’ve made a huge mistake. He goes on to ask me why I deleted a certain picture of myself (which I did to upload a new one). Then he was giving me his opinions of columns I’ve written. Just as an FYI — I’ve never once talked this person or even know who he is. I’ve never disclosed where I actually write. It doesn’t say so on my dating profile either. Now, I don’t mind people giving me some constructive criticism — I actually welcome it. But when you bring it up out of the blue, I’m going to assume you’re a stalker.
Since he knows where I write, I really hope he reads this. You’re a creeper, good sir! I deleted my account because of you!
I’m sure he was being sincere but I mean he could have backwards Catfished me and just not ever mentioned it. For those of you who don’t know, Catfish is a television show about these two guys, Nev and Max, who help people find their online loves. These online lovers have never met in person and are usually never who they say they are. People come to these guys because for whatever reason, when they try to meet up, the other person always has an excuse. That excuse being they weren’t actually that tall, blonde girl, they’re really a fat old man.
Google image search is the main tool of Nev and Max’s detective work. In the show, they take the pictures of the lover in question and drop them into a search. More times than not, they find out that their online love has stolen someone else’s Facebook pictures and has been pretending to be them. The main guy, Nev, fell in love online, got Catfished, and that is how the show came about.
This show is one of my guilty pleasures so I suggest you watch it so we can talk about it sometime.
Apparently the guy who messaged me took it upon himself to Google my pictures. He says it was because he wanted to make sure I was actually who I said I was. The profile picture I use for iPinion is one of the pictures I use on my dating profile. I guess because it’s associated with iPinion it will come up in a search. I say it “used to” be on my profile because I deleted immediately. It was my favorite picture too!
I confronted him, obviously. No one’s going to go snooping into my life without answering to me about it. I asked him how he knew of the other picture and how he knew things about me. He gave me some story about how he saw my profile awhile ago but just hasn’t had the free time to message me. I’m sorry, but if you have the time to look at someone’s profile in such detail and go through the trouble of finding out if I’m the real me, then why not just message me and find out for yourself. Don’t go playing detective and dig around into my life. I do understand this is the internet and nothing is personal anymore, but come on!
I do applaud him for being “safe” online because you honestly have no idea who you are talking to. But at the same time, it freaked me out hardcore. Not to mention, guy — way to be a giant puss about it. You can’t just take a chance like the rest of us do? Who knows what would have happened if we hit it off. I could have given him my Facebook, my number, and even agreed to a date. But no, that will never happen now. Not everyone is a coward hiding behind a computer screen, pretending to be something they’re not. I know I’m not.
This experience also reminded me to be safe on the internet as well. Maybe not Google every person I talk to, but I’m definitely not going to be as naïve as I have been. You honestly don’t know who you’re talking to and that’s kind of half the fun of it. It also makes for great writing material, so I can’t stay mad at this guy forever.