After The Google

I recently heard from two friends – one a technical facilitator and one directing a project team – both of whom expressed concerns about a “Google” mentality to work tasks.   In essence, looking-up without following-up.  My facilitator friend had even researched the matter at a neuro-psychological level – searching and analytical modes of thought exercise distinct neural pathways.

Understanding the concern, no one is going back – whether we’ve only grown up with Google or whether we remember what is was like when there was no Google, we’re Googling.   I ran a quick check of my own Google usage, and routine searches alone – define a word, spell a word (I know I’m erratic), estimate a drive time, look up code syntax – easily save me an hour or two a day.

A little differently than my friends, I don’t see search and creativity in competition, but I agree they aren’t the same thing.  After all, when we ask Google and get a result, it means that someone else already knows the answer.  So what makes our contributions valuable, unique, or creative is the part after the Google.








2 thoughts on “After The Google

  1. On the one hand I worry that the aproach of “search for it then use it and quote it” leads to false or faulty answers, and in the world of alt-facts that does sound an alarm bell for me.

    On the other hand if you step back from being focused on the specific details and look at the bigger picture, does’t a snippet of code found from a search (for example) which is not terribly elegant but solves a detail of a larger task, free up resources to be more creative on the larger challenge instead focusing on the minutiae?


  2. In the technical arena; in contrast to the arena of opinion, searching simply utilizes the accumulated knowledge of our predecessors – even if such predecessors only discovered that knowledge a few hours earlier. Of course, your own training and knowledge are invaluable in then discerning whether to place your trust in what you find.


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