Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World ReviewNov. 12, 2002 / 7 Kislev, 5763

Lenore Skenazy

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Googling be gone | "Strangers in the night/Exchanging E-mails/Wondering at first sight - is he a female?/Googling is so right/For strangers in the night."

No, no - not to worry. Sinatra's song is still sacred. But soon a crooner really should sing the truth about love, 2002: Canoodling is now preceded by Googling.

Googling? Looking someone up on the Internet to see whatever you can find out about him or her. is the search engine you go to. Then you type in your potential paramour's name to see what comes up, be that pictures, personal profiles - or prior convictions.

Gives "getting to know you" a whole new twist.

"It's just so quick and easy," says Krissy, a twentysomething Manhattan single. "Usually it's people I've already gone on dates with that I Google. I get enough information when I go out in order to do a decent search on them. You get a lot more if you know where they're from or where they went to school."

So far her results have been beyond tame: "I found one guy's Little League picture." But recently she learned how to find out which Web sites her boyfriends visit. Verrrry interesting.

If it sounds like Krissy approaches her dates the way Attorney General Eliot Spitzer approaches Arthur Andersen accountants, you're right. But maybe that makes sense.

"People lie," says Lisa Ronis, a professional matchmaker. Unless you get to know someone through friends, family or work, all you have to go on is what he (or she) reveals in a noisy bar or personal ad. Oh, he loves dancing, moonlight and long walks on the beach?

Did he mention the ax murdering thing? Or his presidency of the John Ashcroft fan club? Or that he enjoys yodeling? No, but a Google search might.

Deborah Knuckey met a seemingly nice guy online and Googled him. Turns out he has his own personal Web site that contains his own personal musings about his own personal wife. Deborah E-mailed back: "Unless your Web site is really out of date, it appears you are married and still hanging out on singles Web sites. Please confirm."

Confirm he did - and continued to request a relationship with Knuckey. She declined.

There are a million stories like this. Charlotte, 28, met a man online who was thirtyish and ready for marriage - to her. One Google later, and she found him on a list of marathon runners, along with his age: 44.

An ardent left-winger Googled her new boyfriend and found he'd worked at the Defense Department. An artist met a photographer, found his Web site and followed its link to another Web site - his wife's. These tales would seem to suggest that, in this era of pickups and personals, Googling is a good thing.

But it's not. While it's fine at ferreting out finks, it's even better at making sure star-crossed lovers never meet. "Getting a whole bunch of facts up front can be a curse and a blessing," says Rowland Miller, co-author of the textbook "Intimate Relationships."

Singles can be stunningly superficial about whom they'll date. Online matchmaking forms let them specify the age, weight and height their dates should be. Now along comes Google, allowing them to glean even more trivial info. Oh, this guy collects G.I. Joes. Out! This one visited Out! This one published a poem about clouds. Gag!

"Pesky facts available too soon might prevent a relationship from ever taking hold," says Miller.

Googling can never take the place of getting to know someone the old-fashioned way - in bed. No, a joke. But truly, coffee and a chat beats a background check every time.

No mouse can predict when two people will click.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.


11/05/02: Time waits for no blender
10/28/02: As debate rages about 9-11 memorial, a perfect one quietly appears
10/24/02: Your health, their wealth
10/10/02: Sometimes death opens up the door
09/24/02: Reality hits Mickey
09/19/02: Should you report me to the authorities?
09/12/02: War and love: Romance rises from the ashes
08/30/02: If beer is good, spinoffs are great
08/13/02: Braving difficult steps
08/08/02: Can't trust those tourists!
08/02/02: Enquiring about the 'stars'? I already know
07/26/02: Reunions that defy history
07/18/02: Where'd all the logos go?
07/12/02: He's why Boomers leap and twist
07/09/02: Hold on, my molar's ringing
06/25/02: Pitching the fish fork
06/11/02: Water fad is bottled nonsense 06/11/02: 06/07/02: He who brings menus deserves praise
06/04/02: Relish This! The World Trade Center Hot Dog Guy has been found
05/23/02: The return of the tight squeeze
05/15/02: A Little Too Spicy
05/10/02: Okay, start the movie already!
05/07/02: If you win the lottery, you may be out of luck
05/01/02: Driven nuts by drive-time cell phoners
04/16/02: Chats of a lifetime
04/10/02: This Pet Has a Tail to Tell
03/26/02: Hey, New York - Take a Haiku
03/21/02: Your 'victim,' is my 'survivor' is somebody else's 'hero'?
03/19/02: Terrorists, get out your No. 2 pencils
03/14/02: Tribute Has City Back at its Windows
03/06/02: Dumping Ted: Gray Day For the Baby Boomers
02/27/02: Sometimes, lying's the best policy
02/20/02: The Fad That Won't Fade Away
02/12/02: The smoking gun of white-collar crime is making some folks very happy
02/05/02: Exterminators are evolving, too
02/01/02: Don't suffer do drugs
01/22/02: The Blue Light of Happiness
01/18/02: Marlboro's surprising gift to U.S.
01/08/02: Hospitals make me sick
01/02/02: Read-Aloud Resolutions
12/21/01: Nothing's Worse/Than Bad Verse
12/18/01: This Little Dog Bytes
12/13/01: Palm Pilot or Calendar? Paper Wins
12/07/01: The gift of 9/11
12/03/01: Altria Is Really Smokin'

© 2002, New York Daily News