Monday, April 21, 2008

Be Careful What (Or Who) You Google

Have you ever googled an ex-boyfriend or -girlfriend's name to see what they're up to? I just did and got a big surprise-- one of the first things that popped up was a $2,300 donation to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

It's not like I thought "Shorty" was a Republican, but $2,300 is a lot of money to send as an individual donation to anyone or anything, as far as I'm concerned. I didn't think Shorty had such strong political opinions, or so much disposable income!

I also googled Shorty about a year ago-- yes, I'm bad and I'm bad repeatedly! It was even worse last time-- I discovered that the apartment we used to share had been sold for about $500,000 more than we'd paid for it, and Shorty used the proceeds to buy the much nicer apartment upstairs that had the fabulous roof deck we always wanted. Hmph.

Oh well, life goes on and it's not like I begrudge Shorty anything. But if I'd been nursing any resentment about the break-up, news like that would not have helped!


SomeGuy said...

Madame, are you sure you're not fibbing a little in saying you found all that info on Google? I have never seen real estate transaction information come up in a Google search!

That reminds me of back before SomeGal was in my life I went out with a girl who, prior to our first date, had looked up and found all the info on property I own, and who also had discovered what kind of car I owned. Women are nosey! :)

Kady said...

Holy Frak! I'm glad I've never had to deal w/ that kind of googlenvy.

The Innovative Traveler said...

That's some scary stuff. My husband's work googled someone they were interviewing, and she had blogged all about them, her interview, their names, and the hot guy who was maybe gay. She hoped not! (he's not, and wasn't very happy about reading that). Oh, and she also talked all about how some of the girls at the company seemed bitchy, and named them!

Her complete expose cost her the job. They would have seriously considered hiring her.

Anonymous said...

This is bad. I just Googled myself, and the first hit is my LinkedIn profile (no problems there), but the second hit is a Facebook profile of someone with the same name as me, but is not me. If this person turns out to be a punk and someone such as a potential employer) went only by the Google result, I'd be in trouble.

Madame X said...

SomeGuy-- you are right, I misspoke about the real estate thing being from Google. I stumbled on that while looking at NYT real estate ads and then did the equivalent kind of nosy search by checking the NYC property transaction database. Same basic principle!

And yeah, scary stories about what people drop in blogs! If I go on any interviews, you won't find them described in too much detail here, even though I don't use my real name!

delilah said...

I've googled the ex. Maybe once a year which is seriously augmented by the fact that he is in press and ends up in my morning paper sometimes. Involuntary reminders are more of a shock than voluntary ones.

And I have been the unlucky girl who reads about a (different) exes wedding in the times style section. That was fun.

It's all fair game, but that work interview situation is exactly why I won't join facebook or blog with my real name.

CS said...

Shortly after moving to the city, I met a woman at a political rally. She wasn't outstandingly attractive in the physical sense, but she was smart, flirtatious and had a good sense of humor. She asked for my email and later we went on a couple dates. The second date was to one of her friend's housewarming party. We had a great time together. She had told me she worked as a graphic artist and when I got home I was curious about her work. I googled her and after poking around a little I found an essay she had written and a blog she used to maintain. It turns out she used to be a guy up until 18 months before I met her. I didn't believe it at first, but after looking more, the background info all matched up, college she graduated from, major, place she used to live, former workplace and ultimately I found a picture of her from about 2 years ago. It was obviously her, but before surgery and months of hormone therapy that softened her facial features and made her look authentically female.

Needless to say I was pretty surprised. I tried calling her but never heard from her again. That kind of discovery just kind of scrambles your head and leaves you with a million questions. Although a romantic relationship was definitely not a possibility anymore, I really started to respect her for the tough, decisive choices she made to achieve her own happiness even though it meant being disowned by her family. That took a lot of guts. Never heard from her after that party.

At any rate, the whole deal kind of changed my opinion of googling people. Now that I think about it though, that's definitely the way I would have preferred to find out.

mbhunter said...

A guy I work with googled his name in front of a whole auditorium full of colleagues before he gave a talk. That was a bit risky.