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Oct
09
2013

Is Google Era Makes me a Dumber?

Being a Hardcore ‘Techie’ and a Professional Developer, Google is one ultimate resource I cannot live without and just like most people I use it all the time to seek solutions for the issues I encounter on daily basis. Here is a question often flashes in me – Am I getting a dumber for hoping Google to find me all the answers before I even make an attempt to resolve it on my own??

Well, if I want to learn about ‘Galápagos Islands’ and I had no clue about it, then there is nothing wrong in Googling and learn more about it. But my concern is related to technical issues and coding errors I face at my every day life. Whenever I face a coding error I am habituated to blindly copy the error message and Google for it and hope for someone faced that issue somewhere and have a solution ready for it. The trick works for most cases; But when there are unique issues and finding a solution is not that straight forward, I realize that I am struggling a bit to find a solution on my own which I use to do very well in the past. I feel like over the years my ability to crack the tough problems is slowly and steadily taken out of me as more and more I seek help from Google ‘blindly’.

Too much goolging is bad?

In many other instances I would search extensively for hours for a solution Or I see someone suggests something on the internet forums, I try that, fail on it, try another again and again that would go on for hours. Finally, I would just spend few minutes to concentrate on the issue, use my experience and analyze some alternative options and was able find a solution on my own.

So I have started doing the reverse – every time I face a coding error or a technical issue, I would spend at least 10-15 minutes to analyze the issue and perform a self QA to make sure I have done everything correctly up to my knowledge, try some work around; If I can’t find any clue of what’s wrong then try to Google. Believe it or not, I see some positive changes on me with this approach. 1 – My self confidence and debug skills feels improves again, 2 – Occasionally I also save some time performing crazy search combinations and going through tons web pages/forums hunting for a solution.

As an added perk, I was able to find some unique solutions for many problems on my own and able to write about them on my blog as well.

Some of the unique solutions I have researched, to date contributed to the highest traffic and attraction on my blog till date than many other posts:

And I enjoy doing these stuff anyway!

As a final note, this is not an advice to anyone and I am only sharing my experience and I would be glad to hear from you if you have ever thought this way about using Google all the time.

 

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4 comments

  1. A Netizen says:

    ‘Googlization’ has allowed people’s knowledge to be “offlined”, until needed to be brought “online”.

    Meaning: remembering facts, spelling, map directions, history, names, events, etc., etc. is something people are doing less and less. Since, at nearly a moment’s noticed when instantly needed, it can be searched upon from nearly every type of device. So, yes, I contend Google is making people somewhat dumber.

    Buuut, the real thing is that the Digital Natives (Millenials, Gen Y…) have little-to-no comparitative reference to the pre-Google era (ummm, a mere dozen-ish years ago…) like the Digital Immigrants (Greatest Generation, Boomers, Gen X) do. Young(er) folks don’t know much of the ‘analog’ era before their digital internet-enabled environment today, when it took sufficient effort researching information for an answer.

    Another curious unintended side-effect seems to be folks tend to turn to Google first, before each other. The age of The Sage has practically waned. It’s almost ‘less hassle’ just to search Google, than to ask a real person (heck, whom you might have to have a brief conversation with…). And, people tend to quip and be flippant to others who ask questions now, retorting, “just Google it…”. So, I think it’s had some societal interpersonal implications as well.

    That being said, I think the Digital Immigrants really appreciate the convenience, and breath, and usefulness that having a trove of infomation and utility that Google provides. We just have to hope people are able to still apply critical reasoning and thought to the deluge of information available to them… (Oh, and hope that Google—er, NSA, er, GCHQ, uh, Google—doesn’t become [more] ‘evil’, as folks become increasing dependant upon it our digital lives…).

    1. electron says:

      Well Said, interesting points. Thanks for taking time and sharing your thoughts! After all it comforts to know that i am not all alone :)

  2. Xavier Diaz says:

    ‘Googlization’, We should keep our eyes open on this issue, we are getting lazy brains. We used to know over 100 phone numbers by heart, addresses, first and last names of our friends families, etc. And it was easy, nowadays, we cant remember dinner date without a beep from our cell phone or a note on our laptop. Our brains are getting lazy for simple things then top that with people reading less and less, a perfect recipe for not very smart and or sharp people.

    1. electron says:

      Yes! You have just expressed the facts well, many still not discovered/discovering…

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