Recently, I needed to prove the existence of someone. I never met this person before; I only encountered them online. In this day and age of the Internet, you turn to Google when you have this sort of question.
I don’t typically Google every person I chat with on social media but I was suspicious of this situation. Turns out, I was right. This person’s name did not turn up in any Google search that I entered. But I feel it’s unfortunate that we have to use the Internet now to say we exist. I even asked Mack Male if I should be concerned when I can’t find a person’s name in a Google search and he said, “Yes.”
There now may be a small percentage of people who don’t have some sort of profile on the Internet. I’m guessing that percentage includes mainly seniors who haven’t touched a computer, including one of my uncles.
We’ve become so depended on Google for these types of answers. My question is should we be so dependent? With this dependence, I believe we have lost trust in others and perhaps, society. Before Google and the Internet, we didn’t question if someone was real because we usually talked to them on the phone or met them in person. Now anyone can create a social media profile and pretend to be another person. To prove that they are “real”, they need to exist on Google or we take our chances and meet them in real life. We’ve become that dependent on the Internet.
Although I dislike relying on this tool for researching someone’s background, Google saved my butt from getting into a very uncomfortable situation. With social media, we are encountering more people than we ever have before. It has opened doors for me to meet wonderful people. While there are wonderful people, there are always a few questionable ones who we must be cautious about. And like it or not, I will use Google to find out if they say who they really are.