Sunday, September 07, 2008

Life without Google

There was a story on the news about Google tonight. I was watching with my 11 year old daughter. This is what she said:
"Google is 10 years old! Really?
I was around before Google?
Wow, mum, what did you do before Google?"

This really got me thinking. What did I do before Google? It has become such a way of life for me. If I want to know something I expect to find out the answer. I suppose before the internet became a way of life for me I accepted ignorance. If I didn't know something then I had to commit a lot of time and effort into finding out the answer. So I suppose I would weigh up whether this was worth the effort. And many times, my questions would remain unanswered because they just weren't worth the effort.

Now when I have a question, there is no effort involved. I know I can type the query into Google and the answer will be revealed. Every question answered. Not much energy expended.

What does this mean? Is it all too easy? We demand answers and information and we get it? Really, in the wider scheme of things what does this mean for us? I have been reading a book to my daughter about an ethnic boy living somewhere in Europe in a war torn country looking after his grandmother. When we contrast his daily life with hers, the difference is outstanding. He has a sense of responsibility for looking after his grandmother and his village. My daughter can hardly be bothered tidying up her room.

We have a nation of instant gratification. And now it extends to information. Is this a good thing or may it be a bad thing? I don't want to be like those people who cried fowl when the printing press became available and books were in the reach of the average person. I need to think bigger than that. We are on the edge of something. What happens next?


Anonymous said...

Some clever person said something like this "Information is just stuff, while knowledge involves its meaning. What we want is knowledge, but what we get is information" I wonder if this suggests that the Key Competencies can't stand alone.

What about wisdom?

Anonymous said...

What concerns me is the number of people who believe all in Google's search results to be true without engaging critical thought. The, "It is on the internet so must be true," mentality.