If you’ve ever Googled somebody that you used to know, you’re not alone. Dr. Yasmin Ibrahim with the Queen Mary University of London says, “There is an inherent curiosity in human condition, and the digital economy teases this out.” The digital world combines that curiosity with the ability to search for them, and allows all of us to recreate our IRL (in real life) relationships in a digital way. Ibrahim adds that this digital world basically allows us to do stuff that would otherwise violate the social norms of real life– like seeing what someone you’re no longer close with is doing. Other things that might drive you to Google an ex-friend: the natural human tendency to compare ourselves to others, and the fact that the internet gives us a skewed view of how close we might still be to people.

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