Monday, February 06, 2006

Reunions: Powered by Google

In this day and age, anyone can find you.

You realize this, don't you? You can't hide. From the long lost friend to the forgotten lover, they can find you. They can type in your name and a list of links can show up. They can see what you have been up to or not been up to, as the case may be.

I recently googled someone I had lost touch with. I was greeted with a plethora of links to him, his life, a list of where he had been playing gigs recently and subsequently, I emailed him. This could be good or bad or unqualifiable. He and I have a history of never actually maintaining contact for long but while we do, it's fun. I kinda knew what I was getting into by typing his name into that Google box. He sure can play the saxophone though. Mmmm hmmm.

The world wide web: chock full of information.

This morning I was greeted with an email from an old, old friend. It took me a minute of staring at the email and the name to realize who this person was. It had been that long. In high school, he and I were great friends. He ended up dating a girlfriend of mine our Senior year. He, CC, the Tomato and I would double date. I remember now how the last time we saw one another, oh, some ten years ago now. It was was awkward and strained but I don't remember why. Then we lost contact. Until today.

Isn't it strange to realize that people have been thinking of you during such a long time apart?

And now, they can find you. . .

22 comments:

goldmoon said...

Hmm, too bad there are more people in my past that I DON'T want to hear from than ones I do...

Neil said...

I just had a long phone conversation with someone who found me via my blog. I went to camp with him and haven't seen him since we were 13. It was a surreal conversation because I was still visualizing him as a scrawny kid on the phone, when he is currently a psychotherapist, married, and with two children. It was pretty difficult to "catch up" all those years.

Mrs. Ca said...

Luckily my name is so white-bread normal that there are probably hundreds of us out there and when you google it you get a bunch of people who died in the 1800s from geneology sites.

Dan said...

Yeah, well, Mr. Cellophane here. Inasmuch as I would like to think that people might occassionally reach back into their past to seek me out, it has yet to ever happen, which is a shame. I have established quite an impressive array of google mentions, if I say so myself.

I mean, it is hard enough to get anyone to even email me from my blog! (How's that for pandering?)

jeopardygirl said...

An old friend from high school left me a friendly message recently. The only trouble is, after high school, she kinda disrupted my life, so I really wasn't too thrilled to hear from her. I sometimes Google people, but I rarely do more than that, though.

It IS nice when people you liked find you.

whoorl said...

Luckily, I'm like Mrs. Ca. My name pre-marriage is ridiculously common... I just googled it and found reporters, jazz singers, authors, knitters, etc.

I haven't had my new name long enough for anyone to care...;)

Melissa said...

I like to think that I'm mostly off the grid. Using my real name I don't show up in a google search, and I'm pretty damn happy about that.

Debby said...

I'm paranoid enough as it is, did you really have to share this with me (goes back to sticking head in sand)

LMAO!!!!

Bob Merrick said...

Who on earth did we double date with?

ocg said...

Ahh, yes... google. I have googled my name many-a-time (and thus reason for changing my blog to something anonymous). In between google and MySpace... anyone can be reached anymore... it's when you CAN'T reach someone that it seems odd...

gorillabuns said...

my maiden name sucked. so, i try to disassociate myself from it as much as i can. as for the new name - i don't know how anyone would find me with it. but then i'm not a techy.....

Moonchild said...

As a bill collector we love google. This is one of our main sources in tracking anyone down who doesn't want to be found.

sandra said...

Funny -- that's actually how I ended up back in touch with one of my best friends (Alissa). We were good friends during most of high school and then lost touch after our freshman year in college, then reconnected in...2000, I think...when I found her on some random alumni site and got in touch. I've thought about it since -- pretty amazing that a friggin' machine/the Internet put me back in touch with one of my favorite people in the world.

Lizzie said...

I used to hate my terribly ordinary name... until Google. Type in my name and you'll get thousands of links, none of which are me. They'll never find me! (muahahaha)

Although, I do agree that it's weird to hear from someone you haven't had any contact with for years. It happened to me a while ago and it just made me wonder what made him think of me. (I hope it was something good ;-))

Will said...

Love your blog! Anyone who loves cummings has to be fun.

Jacynth said...

I totally Googled people's names before my 10 year high school reunion. It was great to already get the back story so I could hop right into the juicy stuff!

Gary said...

I never worry about getting amnesia. If i do I can just look at my name in my wallet, then google myself and find out what I've been up to.

Jenster said...

I actually Googled myself for the first time. My name did come up, but they sure weren't me. And I thought I had a fairly unique name! Guess not. I've pretty much kept in touch with everyone I've wanted to keep in touch with, so I doubt I'd get any unexpected emails. It is indeed a strange thought that there may be people out there looking for us that we don't even know exist. Creepy!

Nihilistic said...

If I Google my name, all I get are porn sites of some girl... *disappointed*

Kevin said...

I recently had someone from high school contact me via a Google search. He was an exchange student from Finland who was only there one year and played football with us. He decided to break out his yearbook one day, and started Googling names. He came up with mine because of my numerous websites.

If I hadn't already used your James Frey post as a blog impetus, I'd use this one. Alas, two inspirations from one source in one week's time? Better not.

sue said...

Very strange.

ETP said...

Two things.

(1) I'd have to disagree about the finding everyone you know through google being actually true. I know I haven't found everyone I've looked for that way.

(2) I was at a reading by Richard Ford, and he quoted Henry James as saying - and I'll paraphrase - "Novels are different from real life, because in a novel all the characters fit together in the end. But real life doesn't have an end (not a scripted one, that is). So the characters don't all fit together, and people from the past can appear long after you last saw them."

Cheers.