There’s no denying that my generation has developed an unprecedented dependency on the internet. But just how far does that dependency go? Can Google give us everything we need?
WordPress Dashboard shows me what people typed into their searches that brought up my blog. One of the recent searches was “im a student what should i do if”…
I’m sure there was more, but I guess WordPress has a limit to how many words of a search it will show me. The ambiguity intrigues me. I very much want to finish the sentence. I see this search as a desperate cry to the internet to answer some burning question, seek some sage advice. Dear Google, help! I don’t know where else to turn. Let’s brainstorm.
I’m a student. What should I do if…
- I have swine flu
- I don’t know what I want out of life
- I’m failing
- I’m pregnant
- I want to ask him/her out
- There’s a rabid squirrel in my room
OK, so those are just a few possibilities. What should this person do? We know it’s a student. We know the student doesn’t know what to do. We know they turned to the internet for answers and we know that their search yielded my blog as a result.
I have this sinking feeling that I didn’t help the searching student. How could I? Can the internet really do for us what we’re now turning to it for? I’m sure I’m blowing this out of proportion, but the wording of it just made it feel like the beginning of a Dear Abby letter to me. Maybe this is the new technological progression of the Dear Abby column. What does it mean? We can’t go to our own friends and family for advice. We feel isolated and alone. We want someone to talk to, but who can we trust, if not those closest to us? At least Abby had a real person, albeit a stranger, writing back to us on the other end. What does the internet give us? Automatically generated electronic results from a multitude of known and unknown sources. Cold, impersonal, computerized suggestions that may or may not apply to our question.
I know I’m not the first to say this, but I do believe that the more technologically “connected” we become, the more disconnected we become in our personal lives outside the computer screen. Why call when you could text? Why text when you could Facebook? Why ask a real person when you could get a million more answers from a search engine? I hope we never lose our personal connections– it would be a steep, steep price to pay for progress.