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.