I got in a fight with one of my friends last month. Naomi had been on several dates with a new love interest when he asked if she’d watched YouTube clips of his stand-up comedy yet. “I said, ‘I have not Googled you because I’d rather get to know you as a real person,’” she told me via Gchat. Internet-stalking new acquaintances is, at this point, so ingrained that the idea of skipping the ritual actually alarmed me. Failure to look someone up online seemed almost rude, a sign of disinterest. Am I even capable of thinking about a topic — human, animal, vegetable, or otherwise — without performing a topic-adjacent Google search at some point?
“It’s the ultimate abstinence,” Naomi continued. “When everything is accessible, sometimes it’s hotter NOT to go there. What if waiting to Google is even hotter than building up tension before you have sex?”