Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Google It

I love the internet. I initially met Jamie there, so what's not to love? Anytime I need to know anything, I google it and find my answer. Jamie and I were just sitting and watching a show on BYU-TV, one of the people introduced sounded familiar, so I googled his name and we learned some interesting information about him that enriched what we were watching. Using Pledge for cleaning tips? Google it. Temperature of the sun? Google it. Great chimichanga recipe? Google it. Catch part of a C.S. Lewis quote and want to know the rest? Google it. Want to know how many queries google gets per day? I just googled it - a statistic from 2006 said 400 million per day.

I was very happy in that life until I listened to a CES talk by David Bednar called "Things as They Really Are." Excellent, very doctrinal talk about the counterfeits Satan presents before us, including many things he uses so we are "bodiless" like him. For instance, people that get so involved with video games that those become their life when they should be out experiencing things for real.

So what did we do before the days of google? Many things would involve a lot of research. Finding answers now at our fingertips would have been significantly more difficult to come across, and I'm sure many questions just went unanswered. But in many more everyday cases, is the ease of googling stopping you from going to someone you know would have the answer? In my googling at least, probably. Am I choosing to be bodiless because it's so much easier than making a phone call? Am I making this out to be more than it really is???

It's not just about google either. When I was a newish mom I learned about yahoogroups and joined a few for moms like me. When I had a question about potty training, sleep issues, or what to feed a child that won't eat anything, I would toss a message out on there knowing I would immediately have a pool of a few hundred women and their variety of experiences ready with willing support and answers. I enjoyed that for a long time until I realized that those women may have a lot of experience, but they really didn't know me. They didn't know my background, my family, my friends, or my experiences, only the small dimension of myself that I shared on there. And likewise, I didn't know them at all. I've been on small, closer knit groups as well, but even those left me feeling the lack of real shared personal in-body everyday experiences.

So I'm totally not saying google and mommy yahoogroups are evil, but... well, I remember hearing once that you should never leave a compliment unsaid, because in not giving it you are losing an opportunity to lift that person. Maybe it's similar when you could go to someone for information.

Just for a moment, think how it feels to have someone call on you for your experience and expertise, not to even ask you to do something, just to pick your brain. Don't you feel wise and knowledgeable? Probably feels good to help. And when someone comes to you with a need they need filled, even just to ask a question, the relationship is strengthened. Even if only a bit, it is strengthened. So in going to sure and easy sources instead of someone you know, are you missing out on a good in-body experience?

It makes me want to try an experiment, that for one month every time I come up with a question or the kids bring me one, I try the question on as many "real" people as I can for a week (without being ridiculous about it like stopping people in Wal-mart) and see what we can learn from the "real" people we know. For the first question, Sammy told me earlier that Playdoh was originally created to use as a cleaning tool (he learned that in a game we've got). I asked him what it was used for and he said it didn't say. I have an idea, and like crazy I wanted to google it and find out, but for now, anyone know? (Without googling - google it for yourself if you'd like, but don't tell unless you really know.)

I don't know. Maybe I'm just up in the night, but it all makes me want to pick up the phone more. You?

P.S. I apologize in advance for the loud children background noise. I promise it's a recording we play just for fun, and I respond to it sometimes as part of the ploy. My children don't sound like that at all.
P.P.S. Jamie just showed new gaming technology to the boys and me tonight. While freakishly cool (really, watch it), where does it fall in light of all this?
P.P.P.S. I should have kept track of how many times I googled during this post, because there were several, going back to look, at least 6 or 7.


  1. That gaming thing is really cool, but it just makes me think, why not just go out and DO those things instead of pretending them?? (It could be nice for winter when you can't do so many activities etc.) We have no gaming systems and it has just become a discussion because Nathan's class had a handheld game party at school where everyone could bring their system and play for 1/2 hour. Nathan is the ONLY kid without one. I asked him how he felt. I'm not sure if deep down he might feel really bad, but what he told me is that all he really wants is an Ipod. I think I can manage that at Christmas time.

  2. Our kids don't have a handheld game either. Our children are all so deprived.

  3. I watched the gaming thing, but agree with your first commenter. Although I think it's cool, I thought... let's just get OUT OF our houses and away from the TV for once. But it's so hard as technology advances.

    I've thought about the google thing before too. It's almost TOO good. Because I used to call my dad for everything. I actually still call him for many things, but google is just too accessible. I like your idea.

    And I am taking a wild guess on your playdoh thing. I remember reading once about it. And I have no idea what the answer it. But it seems like it was to clean engines or something?

    Like I said... wild guess. No googling involved. Although, it might have peaked my curiosity enough that I might just have to check.

  4. Gotta love me some google!! I google a lot too! The sad thing is a can remember a time when we didn't have such things. I remember a time when we had NO cell phones too. Man...I must be getting old.
    I wish we didn't have any gaming technology in our drives me crazy! The maybe 2 times a year I actually play it doesn't make it worth it to me! :)

  5. I'm curious, so now its been a couple weeks. How is it going Google Free?

  6. The kids haven't asked much that I didn't know the answer to already. Sammy threw one at me the other day that I said we need to ask grandpa about, but I didn't write it down.