Saturday, March 24, 2012

Contemporary Life Rant: Google It.

People laugh, albeit nervously, during my shtick about how my mother was the tech consultant for the biopic about Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest. Hanger scene? Lived it. And more! I mention this so you don't think I'm exaggerating when I describe another feature of my childhood.

My mother had a Zero Tolerance Policy for questions that began with, "How do you spell...?" or, "Where is...?" These were not inquiries born of intellectual curiosity, but evidence of laziness.

Go. Look. It. Up. 

I spent much of my childhood and adolescence flipping through a dictionary, thesaurus, or volumes of the World Book Encyclopedia. My mother joined the BOMC so we could have dictionaries in every room of the house. Asking for information that could be found in a book we owned guaranteed a swift trip to my room. Eventually, I'd figure out this was the safest place to be and it was stocked with reference materials.

The Internet had not yet been invented and Google didn't exist. Information had to be carefully spelunked. None of this technology was available while I attended college and graduate school. I spent a lot of time looking stuff up, sometimes in specialized libraries if the information I needed was legal or medical.

Now we have Google, which I initially didn't use because I thought it was cheating. I'm over that. Not looking it up online? Now, that really is evidence of lazy.

Technology makes it so easy to find stuff, that I'm routinely shocked when people ask me for information that I can -- and will -- procure for them via Google.  And while I'm not proud of the tone I'm starting to take while saying, "Google it," at least I'm not brandishing hangers to make my point. Yet.

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