Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Googling People - More Creepy for Me than You?

I recently started up a new Pathfinder broadcast on Twitch.tv with a group called the Misfit Monsters. I was brought into this group because a friend of mine has been playing with these guys for a while,

but other than my friend, I had never met anyone else before we started planning our Shattered Fates campaign. I imagine you can see where this is going - I'm suddenly thrust into a group of strangers based solely on the word of one person ... so I started googling them.

I just wanted to see who these guys were I guess. It's not that I didn't trust my friend's word, and it this isn't something I regularly do, but I am on the job market and about to graduate, so I thought it would be pertinent to see if there was anything I should know before I very publicly associate with these people.

I wasn't expecting to find anything surprising, but then I did. I found out one of them had been thanked in the acknowledgment of a book. At this point I stopped the search, because really, how cool is that?! What more could I need to know? (For any new readers out there - yes, this is my definition of cool.) So far so good, no problems - until the next time we got together.

I was sitting on the couch you see in the picture above and trying to figure out how I can bring up the fact that I just googled these guys. I suppose I could've said nothing, but the geek in me couldn't resist asking about the acknowledgement, and there was no other way I would've known. I've never read the book in question. As I sat there trying to figure out a classy way to start this conversation I realized that I was actually creeping myself out. Until that moment, I didn't know that was possible.

I finally just went for it and said, "You know those series of books ..." He smiled and replied, "So you googled me?" I went into a flustered justification of why I would such a thing while he continued to smile. He wasn't creeped out at all. He reassured me that he was aware that that is a thing people do these days and he is fine with it.

To add to the weirdness of my reaction, he is older than me. So (although not a digital native) I am certainly closer to that culture than he is, and yet I was the one that felt like I had done something rude. Not to even mention that given my research with digital and online games one would think I would be a little more versed in netiquette - which I am. In fact I knew that this was a thing that people did even before all this and yet I still felt awkward trying to bring it up. Maybe it is because I am not a digital native?

I wish I had an answer to that last question. If I figure it out I'll be sure to post an update. Or maybe I'll get lucky and someone will explain it in the comments.

For the record, beyond stimulating my curiosity for this post I am really glad I got the courage up to ask about the book. I wound up hearing a very interesting story about how one little conversation led to a book (that I will of course being buying now).

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