All My Exes Live in… Google?

It feels a bit strange… when one of your ex-boyfriends finds you on the ‘net by doing a Google (or in this case, Yahoo) search – isn’t it? Ever had that happen to you? I just did today… and it’s… weird.

Chris contacted me via email today. The Chris I’m referring to is not my husband, who is Chris also.. but this particular Chris is a guy I dated for 3 years, quite some time ago. A lifetime ago, actually. He’s a great guy with a beautiful wife and a whole boatload of beautiful children. He searched for my name in Yahoo! – for whatever reason (haven’t you ever searched out an old friend to see if you could sneak a peek into what their up to nowadays?).. and found me, my blog, my Amazon listing, my Flickr account, my photoblog… you name it, he found it and looked through it.

Let’s back up a bit here…. back to..oh say… well, a really long time ago (we’re talking the 80’s here, folks). Yep – we’re talking THAT long ago (oy!) Chris was my first ever real love in life. My first serious relationship and my.. well… my first..ya know. *wink* He was the lead in all the school plays, the soloist in all the choir concerts and otherwise an all around pretty talented guy. He was my prom date and one of my bestest friends, at the time. There was no one in the world who could make me as crazy…or as happy, as he did during those years.

When he went away to college.. I remember he had his best friend, Bob, take me to prom that year because he could not make it home for prom and he wanted me to go and have fun. I remember Bob tried to kiss me that night… he wasn’t successful at it, but it created a bit of drama for everyone involved.

I have a lot of really great memories of those years…none of them bad.

Chris and I grew up and grew apart. He went off to a Christian Bible college in Minnesota where he was studying to become a pastor – and I graduated high school and took a job as a lead singer in an R&B band. Let’s just say that by the time our relationship ended, our priorities and focus in life couldn’t be more different… complete opposites by the time we broke up. He eventually met a nice girl from the Bible college and married her… and I eventually met a not so nice guy and married and divorced him – – then didn’t remarry until recently in 2006. I remember taking a bit of pride in the fact that he would forever describe me as his ‘first original sin’ and the one person who fully corrupted him before entering into his Bible College. (If I remember correctly, it was the Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul Minnesota – of the United Pentecostal Church).

Leave it to me to corrupt a man of the cloth, eh? Well, pre-cloth anyways. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Chris and I kept in touch a little bit after all that. He and his wife invited me over to their place for dinner one evening in 1992, while they still lived in the area. I met his kids.. he met my kids. The very last time I talked to him was in a phone call in 1994 – – and I don’t remember why I was on the phone with him at that time – – I only very vaguely remember it today. I haven’t seen or heard from him today until I got his email… “Lisa.. WOW… ran a Yahoo! search on you and you’re all over the place!…..

Now – understand, there are no ill feelings between the two of us. I was thrilled and very happy to hear from him – – happy to know that he’s still alive and kicking somewhere out there in the world and thrilled that he took the time to look me up and contact me to say “Hey!”. That’s so cool.

What’s weird is the idea that he’s looked through all my stuff. His email said “You’re looking good, too (…was looking through your Flickr pictures… hope you don’t mind).”

And I don’t mind.. I really don’t (Chris, if you’re reading.. really, I dont’ mind). It’s just that weird feeling of someone that you used to know… intimately, is catching up on your life in a way that doesn’t involve directly speaking, or communicating with you.

When you put yourself *out there* like that – – you’re granting permission to anyone and everyone to peek into your life. Even if I did mind… it’s not as if I could stop someone who really wanted to.

Every single detail you’ve ever published about yourself, your family, your dog, your cat, your car, your job, your sex life, your worries, woes.. failures, accomplishments… everything you’ve ever published or have otherwise allowed to run wild on the internet is out there for consumption to anyone who wants to read it.

This includes ex-boyfriends, ya’ll. (eek!)

That’s what the internet has brought us… that is the world we live in today here on the world wide web. That is why I do not broadcast every single minute detail of my life on this blog, or anywhere for that matter – because there are just… things that do not need to be published and then, subsequently found, on Google, or other search engines.

So.. just… careful what you publish about yourself, people. It can turn right back around and bite you square in the ass.

Luckily, for me, catching up with Chris is awesome. He’s no stalker… not a psycho and he really just wanted to drop a line and say HI! I’m really happy that he did, and after the initial weird feeling went away…I don’t have any problems with him catching up on my life through my blog, photos and other various places around the web…. but it also got me thinking about a few other ex-boyfriends out there who I wouldn’t want to hear from… who I wouldn’t want to have browsing through my stuff and makes me really think twice about what I’ve put out there. I hope they don’t Google search me!

Just want to say a big thanks to Chris who eventually did drop me a line, after catching up on my life through the internet. It was wonderful to hear from you again!

15 thoughts on “All My Exes Live in… Google?”

  1. Very cool… but, yes, also very true.
    That’s why, if you google my real name (you know, Jammie J.), you’ll find that I’m either a one shot wonder TV star (but there’s no information, oddly) or that I’m dead, a few times over. Who knew?

  2. About 2 years ago a few co-workers asked if I ever Googled my ex, which – to them at least – was a popular meme at the time.

    On the assumptions that a) she now uses a hyphenated surname (maiden-married_name) and b) I actually found her and not another who shares her name, she was a state worker being found guilty of accepting bribes, and has completed her jail sentence. Who knows if she is the same person?

    While I harbor no delusions of superhero-grandeur, your warning about what you put on the web is one of my reasons for my online anonymity.

    (» Read Charlie on PA Tpk’s last blog post..Hypocrite: (n) see Sen. Obama)

  3. Haha, that made me laugh. It reminded me of all the horror stories I’ve heard of people being fired after they blogged about their boss, people being arrested after they uploaded pictures of them doing illegal things on facebook (duh…)…

    (» Read Fern’s last blog post..Chocolate flapjack recipe)

  4. I recently went through a slight stalking incident right after the holidays. On one hand, it worried me a bit seeing how much personal information they were able to find (Amazon reviews, flickr, linkedin). On the other hand, I’m also a professional (complete with licenses) and I run a business. So I guess I can’t really hide too much. But it has taught me a lesson about how much of my life I’m comfortable with being public.

    (» Read LA Blogger Gal’s last blog post..Well, I DO Love to Read)

  5. Had the very same thing happen to me not too long ago.

    I just signed up for Facebook, and a big flame from college pinged me. She is now out and looking after a divorce, and it freaked out my wife a little bit, although she was cool with me getting back.

    Although my wife was more concerned that I had Googled the ex a few years ago and admitted it …

    (» Read James’s last blog post..You like me, you really like me!)

  6. This is actually a nice and touching little story. I think most of us who blog or use flickr understand that they are putting everything out there for all the world to see.

    Hopefully, we’re at least a little discerning in how much and what kinds of information we put out there.

    I like that any exes of mine (or any of the ones who got away before they had the chance to become exes) might look me up one day and drop me a line.

    But I doubt it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (» Read Vinny’s last blog post..Scanning Headlines)

  7. Great post, Lisa.

    This is exactly why my husband is so paranoid about posting pictures and information on the Internet. He can’t stand the thought of any of our family being *out there* like that.

    Of course, a lot of my info is out there already. But when you google my name, what shows up primarily is not me; I do not write for the adult entertainment industry! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Oh, and p.s. I’ve really enjoyed perusing your site. Very creative, very inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I think we have an ex in common. He is not really an ex, just a passing. Googling can give you a lot of info. Such as the guy you are winking is married and has been for the past 20 some years. Worst yet having a relative that works at the same hospital make a statement, “he is known to nail anything that moves” and then learning through a website that he has winked with more then a dozen of women from that website. I didn’t know that a romantic meeting in Kmart could end up with me feeling so slimmy. Thank goodness for the internet, I could still be seeing him, which would end up with my heart being really crushed. I am now shopping elsewhere for Mr. Right and googling men before I do the winking think!

  9. @JammieJ – I’d rather think of you as a one-hit wonder TV star ๐Ÿ˜ก

    @Charlie – I do remember your mentions of your online anonymity. There’s something to be said for flying under the radar, no doubt!

    @Leanne – Luckily I haven’t had the pleasure, you poor girl. :((

    @Fern – there are quite a few stories out there like that. Common sense is all it takes ๐Ÿ™‚

    @LA Blogger Girl – having a stalker is scary. Can’t say that I’ve experienced that kind of nightmare, thankfully!

    @James – I bet it did freak your wife out a ‘lil! At least you give her no reasons for worries ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Vinny – thanks for stopping by (you’re in my feed..bet’cha didn’t know! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s kind of cool to have an old flame drop by and say “Hi” – – with the Google info-collecting machine out there, ya never know who may drop by!

    @J.Hawke A little paranoia is a good thing, I think…esp. when it comes to deciding what kind of personal info to put out there on the internet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Http500Top/Recent Commenters ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Daisy – Never tried an eBay search for people. It just never occured to me. ๐Ÿ˜•

    @Jeane – Think before you wink, it’s a good policy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Hi Lisa. SO interesting that you posted on this as I had a similar post on my site basically regarding an ex who resembles a low-grade stalker in that in 10 years I haven’t been able to completely rid my life of him. I just wrote a blog entry about this a few days before you posted this one!

    My primary concern with my ex was that if he were to Google (or Yahoo) me, he’d be let into my life in all the ways that you mention. However, I think I’ve finally been able to escape him (he doesn’t know my current email handle or website and therefore wouldn’t be able to find my Flickr or anything else I have floating out there!) Here’s hoping that he never finds me again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    (» Read Deb’s last blog post..All Quiet On The Eastern Front)

  11. Hiya, i have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain (cost me a packet) for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? I’m new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help! ๐Ÿ™‚

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