by Leonard Steinberg
Google is an extremely helpful tool in doing research on people you don’t know. Before Google we were always at the mercy of adjusting our style of delivery/presentation at the point of meeting someone, and after a while tuning into their profile…..or not. Google has been enormously helpful in getting a better understanding of someone.
A simple Google search is often enough to see a photograph of the person you’re researching. Often an image alone can tell you lots about that person: What is their age (roughly)? What do they wear? Who are they with? Where were they photographed? Are they smiling? How ‘controlled’ is their image? More searching may reveal where they live, who their friends and colleagues are, where they work, etc, etc. Maybe the search leads to a Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin account? Collecting all these data points or visual cues can be extremely helpful in drafting a rough ‘profile’ of this person you’re about to meet. (anyone who is dating or has dated in the past decade knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about!).
So while Google-research may seem a bit creepy and invasive, I know the data-points I may collect from a search could be invaluable in better understanding the individual I’m about to meet. Most super-personal stuff is not to be found – and un-necessary – but often a Google search can reveal all sorts of valuable knowledge in better understanding a future client, colleague, friend or acquaintance.
This is a further reminder to everyone that we are often judged by that which is Google-able, so always be extremely conscious of what you post online. A bad photo could define you to others, even if it is unfair and inaccurate.
Have a terrific day!