An Experiment on the Information Superhighway 

I love Google. 

I don’t particularly love the parts of it that have to do with work, like  Google Analytics or Tag Manager, although anything that makes stalking people and compiling information part of a profession would typically fill me with delight. What I love about Google is the instantaneous access to information. I have read some studies about how kids these days (please imagine me in rocking chair with pipe or some such at this moment) don’t learn as much because the availability of technology inhibits their ability/desire to learn and memorize information. After all, if it’s just a few clicks away, why do the mental lifting that memorization requires? Then, you don’t build additional synapses; then you don’t learn as productively and so on and so forth. 

I’m glad I didn’t grow up with search engines at my disposal and that I had to go to real libraries, look things up in a non-wiki-fied encyclopedia (and of course, yes, I was a kid who would just sit down and read starting with volume Aa-to-whatever because #nerdlife, and of course I also had huge glasses because that’s like the encyclopedia-reading kid uniform of choice).

Now as an adult though, I truly have no idea how I would get through the day without being able to search things. I don’t even mean just things like directions or the best Indian restaurant… Or directions to the best Indian restaurant (it’s Koohinoor obvi in case you were wondering – butter chicken is amaaaaaaz). I would guess that I look up general facts at least a dozen times a day, whether it’s the whereabouts of the living descendants of George Washington or what the difference is in a toga or a chiton. 

And I really think it makes me a better person, because I retain the knowledge and it makes me more interesting to talk with. To this end, I will be conducting an expire by this weekend – instead of actually searching for information on Google, I will just write down the questions that I ask myself that I would like to Google and then I will post them here for your perusal. I may ask these questions to other humans and see if I can crowdsource the answers or I may just realize that it’s not life-threateningly necessary to know what Hercules Mulligan’s portrait looked like (wait – are you taking a break from reading this post to go Google Hercules Mulligan now??? Caught ya.). 

What do you think? Are you a chronic googler? How often do you search things a day, or, if you’re kicking it old-school and you don’t rely on search, how do you learn the really important things in life like “what tiara did kate wear for her wedding”?


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