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These Are the 7 Deadly Sins of Googling

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Search at your own peril

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Shalene Gupta and Jake Turtel

Google is a godsend for all of us, from those who stutter and stumble through life to even the most knowledgeable of folks looking to confirm their facts and figures.

A well-placed nugget of information courtesy of Google (or Yahoo, sure, or Bing, but come on—you use Google) can prepare you for a challenging conversation or nervy meeting, and it can display for you, stripped bare, any person’s minor errors and major accomplishments.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and sometimes Google leads us astray. Just this week, New Yorkmagazine wrote that resisting from Googling a potential date is “the new abstinence.” Here are the seven deadly sins that come along with relying too heavily on the G-force.

Greed: When your thirst for knowledge leads to errors

They say fortune favors the well prepared, but when Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer sat down to dinner with Chevron CEO John Watson, preparation backfired. Serwer asked Watson about his position on the board of the San Diego Padres, a factoid he’d picked up doing pre-dinner research on Wikipedia, a page he had been directed to through The Big G. Turns out that’s another John Watson. Oops.

Watson’s team at Chevron has hunted down the original source and the Wiki entry has since been changed, but here atFortune, a vague feeling of betrayal lingers in the air. After all, where would reporters be without Google? But Google gives preference to Wikipedia, and Wiki now hath poisoned our trust. Or at least Serwer’s.

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

 

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