I recently attended a mom’s morning out where the subject of Google came up. Specifically, how Google is ruining our ability to remember things on our own or carry on a lengthy conversation. I’m as guilty as the next person of pulling out my smartphone or laptop in order to look up a song lyric, movie quote or any other miniscule bit of information that’s driving me crazy because I can’t think of it on my own. I type a few words into the search box, hit Enter and voila! I have my answer.
In my family this is known as “Mashin’ Google”.
Sometimes Google can be a good thing. Let’s say I watch an episode of The Kennedys, and I become intrigued by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Keep in mind, I’m a dork. So, I mash Google and after going to my default starting place, Wikipedia, I begin to dig a little deeper to find out more information. Eventually, I end up reserving a book at my local library, watching Thirteen Days (in which Kevin Costner’s Massachusetts accent is absolutely hilarious) and annoying every Baby Boomer in my life for details. I also once again toy with the idea of bringing back the pillbox hat and checking out Chanel suits on Ebay, but that’s just an added bonus. So, in this instance, the ability to mash Google learnt me a lot and added to my boundless store of useless information.
But Google can also be the great conversation destroyer. Say my husband and I begin to discuss a random piece of history or scientific fact. Instead of having an engaging conversation full of tangents, speculations and irrelevant segues that deepens our connection to each other, we look it up on Google real quick and go back to watching TV.
One of my favorite games to play with myself is Guess That Movie Line. Occasionally a random movie quote will pop into my head, and I have to guess its origin. This could torture me for an hour or days on end. Used to be I’d finally get it and feel a sense of dorky accomplishment. Now I can just type the line into Google and instantly know. It’s fast, but it’s no fun.
Don’t get me wrong. Y’all know how much I love the Internets. It knows so much! But I wonder what it would be like to go on an Internets fast for a week. I don’t know if I could do it. I wonder if anyone else has tried it. Hmmm…I should Google it.