We are all guilty of looking up potential love interests on social media, checking their tweets for any potential red flags, hoping for a bikini picture in an album called “Cyprus 2009” and of course, checking that they are not already married or in a long-term relationship. But where do we draw the line? How much so-called cyberstalking is ok, and when does it cross the line between curiosity and plain creepy.
How Much Info to Gather About Your Date
The internet offers us a wealth of information at our fingertips and powerful search engine tools such as Google provide us with ample opportunity and capability to find out as much as we like about anyone we like. From birth records to family trees, old MySpace accounts to making the local paper; the internet is a vast wealth of both pointless and fascinating personal information. While it is acceptable to Google someone to see if anything shocking comes up, we would suggest drawing the line at scrolling through the last decade of tagged photos and falling down an e-rabbit hole and ending up on the profile of their cousins, ex-wife’s new boyfriend’s sister.
Avoid Awkward Situations
We advise keeping it to a minimum, not only because it is creepy and obsessive but because you may come across things that you do not want to see. Discovering pictures of your dates ex-partner can cause intense feelings of jealousy which could cause an awkward situation if brought up in an argument in the future.
Balance is the Key
When you first meet someone online, it is wise to do your homework to make sure they are who they claim to be, but the temptation to take this further must be controlled. Imagine your embarrassment if you accidentally liked an Instagram post of your dates quinoa salad from 2013? All it takes is once accidental slip of the thumb and your stealthy, undercover, sleuthing activities could be discovered which could prove very embarrassing for all involved.
So remember the rules- by all means, do a bit of research to make sure she is not a wanted criminal, but restrain yourself from spending hours of the profiles of all her family and friends, looking up ex-boyfriends or memorizing the names of her pets for future reference. If you know everything about her already, it takes away from the fun of getting to know her yourself.