Hugh Pickens writes writes "Henry Alford writes that in an ideal world, we would all use Google to be better friends by having better recall and to research our new friends and acquaintances to get to know them better. 'It's perfectly natural and almost always appropriate,' says social anthropologist Kate Fox. 'Obviously, one is always going to have to be discreet when talking about what you've found. But our brains haven't changed since the Stone Age, and humans are designed to live in small groups in which everyone knows one another. Googling is an attempt to recreate a primeval, preindustrial pattern of interaction.' But the devil is in the details. If we tell a new friend that we've read her LinkedIn entry or her wedding announcement, it probably won't be perceived as trespassing, as long we bear no ulterior motives. If we happen to reveal that we've also read her long-ago abandoned blog about her cat, we're more likely to be seen as chronically bored than menacing. 'I'm so baffled by this idea that we're not supposed to Google people,' says Dean Olsher. 'Why would there be a line? Like everyone else is allowed to know something but I'm not?' But doesn't taking the google shortcut to a primeval, preindustrial pattern of recognition sometimes rob encounters of their inherent mystery or even get us in trouble? Tina Jordan, an executive in book publishing who has the same name as a former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, says, 'I typically tell any blind dates before I meet them that they probably shouldn't Google my name, otherwise they'll be sorely disappointed when they meet me.'"
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