Google It!

Over the past 24 hours I have sat down three times to attempt to write this blog; every time leading to me becoming distracted by one thing or another. While trying to write I would have one tab open for downloading music, one open for face book, one for sporcle to text my useless knowledge, and so on. Finally, I took a break from the attempt to blog and decided to go to the living room and watch “How I Met Your Mother” with my roommates. Well I realized that after about 5 minutes my hands felt twitchy and the need to be typing and by the time that half an hour show was over I had “Googled” eight different times (it was probably more, but for the sake of not appearing too crazy I limited the number to eight). Whether it was a commercial that came on and I wanted to know the song that went along with it or I wanted to know what other shows a certain actor had been on I had constantly been searching on Google. The ease of having any question answered at the tip of my fingers was too irresistible to give up!

The ease of being able to look up any random fact with just one click is so hard to resist that I find myself “Googling” things I never knew that I wanted to know. For example, did you know that Neil Patrick Harris is a 39 year old magician/actor from New Mexico? Well now you do. Does this ability to Google (more like need to Google) count as an addiction? I would say so. I can’t go one day without searching on Google for one thing or another. I’ve even switched from AOL as my homepage to Google. It’s so common in our world now that Google has even been added to the dictionary (as both a noun and a verb). This is almost as bad as the day I found out bootylicious was added to the dictionary (thank you Beyonce).

Google: (n) a brand name of a leading search engine, founded in 1998. (v) to search the internet for information about.

I wanted to challenge myself not to use Google for at least 24 hours, but I couldn’t do it. I found that so many things that I used to do I now take for granted because of Google. For example, having to look up an address in the phone book, a word in a dictionary, an image in a newspaper or magazine, a line from a book can all be done now in all of 60 seconds (or less!)! Out of all of the websites I visit on my computer, Google is the most active (according to my computer history). I find that if I’m sitting still and not on the internet searching for one thing or another I become bored and anxious. Even the simplest of tasks I now rely on search engines like Google. I won’t remember addresses because I know I can easily look them up, I won’t remember phone numbers because I know that I won’t need to. Does this help or hinder my future progress? I’m nervous to find out. I feel like I’m relying more and more on technology like Google or GPS or online dictionaries to the point where I don’t make an effort to remember anything because I know it’s so readily available. I’m wondering if it’s the same for anyone else out there or if maybe it’s just helping speed things along?

Google has become such a permanent fixture in our lives that it is almost impossible to go a single day without going on the popular search engine. While I believe that it has definitely made our world a better and more convenient place, I can only wonder what it is doing to my ability or will to remember things. I know that we discussed this in class the other week, but the lingering thought that maybe the internet is causing us to depend too much on technology rather than our own abilities still disturbs me. I had posted before that Google is a great way for our minds and our technology to expand. I still believe that this is true and that without Google I would have a more difficult time obtaining a lot of the knowledge I have today. Yet after reading other comments from our class and the other one, I can see both side of the argument that maybe Google is limiting our own abilities by being a crutch. Hopefully in the future I can find a way to balance both my own will to concentrate and remember and the ability to “Google It.”