Learning to rely on my brain more, and Search Engines less.
I google everything. Or just about.
I google recipes to cook and restaurants to try. I google shops and products, movies and books. I google when I can’t remember the name of that one actor in that movie from the nineties. I google health and fitness questions. I google questions about how to start a blog, plant a garden, or get involved in my community. I google any and all queries that come to mind. And it’s exhausting.
I’m not alone in this phenomenon either. As part of the Google Generation, I grew up with the internet from an early age. I remember first learning about search engines and using them to find information. I was in third grade. Back then my teacher touted Mamma.com and AltaVista as the go-to online search tools, both of which no longer exist as search engines. My searches used to look up facts as we learned about Australia and sea animals. They were basic and clunky.
As I got older, the searches only became more frequent and more important. By high school I had a smartphone, my own personal laptop, and a tablet. Three separate devices I could use to search anything and everything at any time of the day. It’s how I wrote research papers, learned about interesting new subjects, and chatted with friends in faraway places.
The ability to have instant information at our fingertips is an amazing accomplishment of humankind. We are more educated than ever before, thanks largely in part due to the widespread use of the internet. We can learn about any subject at the click of a button. We can converse with native speakers over video chat when learning a language. We can play fun games to learn geography or coding. The internet is an amazing tool, but perhaps it’s taken over too much of our lives.
Take today for instance. Barely an hour after I had woken up, I had already googled a dozen different things. “How many non-citizens live in the US?” “En dash vs em dash.” “Stock Images.” “Likelihood of dying while abroad.” Several math equations. And even “why do I feel the urge to google everything?”
That last question sounds like a joke, but it’s not. I have realized that any time I have a question or thought, the first place I turn is google…