Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Why Don't People Just Google Things?

I don't know how people parented before Google was invented. Ebony is only five and she has already asked me so many questions I don't know the answer to (What are fossils? Why don't people live on Mars? Why does Daddy forget things?). How would I know what to say if I couldn't find the answer on my phone? It doesn't bear thinking about. I use Google to decide what to make for dinner, to figure out the best way to handle 'challenging' times as a parent and to obsessively check the weather forecast to find out when the sun is coming out (remember when people used to have to look out of their window to see the weather?). 

I use it a lot, but it seems some people don't. Don't they teach Google in schools now? Everybody should just be Googling everything all of the time. We shouldn't even have to speak to each other anymore. We should be able to find out everything we need to know by looking at our smartphones. But people don't Google things, they just continue through life with unanswered questions and I don't understand why.

According to a survey carried out by Data Label, over half of All The People didn't understand laundry cleaning icons and many had an item of dirty clothing hidden in their wardrobe that they don't know how to wash. People, specifically those who answered the survey, would rather make their entire wardrobe smell like dirty clothes, and never wear an item of clothing again, than Google what washing label instructions mean. How is that possible? I mean, ok, maybe some people would be too lazy to find out the answer, but over half? Isn't that more than a little bit scary? It's no wonder Brexit and Trump are winning, the people too lazy to work out washing labels are hardly going to carry out a thorough analysis of election manifestos, are they? 

Facebook parenting groups are filled with new parents asking questions that are not only easily answered with a quick Google search but more accurately answered by a quick Google search. When you look for the information you want online, you can choose a source you trust. When you ask in a Facebook group of random people, you're not necessarily going to get the best answers. Breastfeeding mothers moaning about lack of sleep are usually pointed in the direction of the bottle. Mums of formula fed babies are told to give their babies solids early to guarantee a good night's sleep. None of this stuff is scientifically proven and a quick Google search would throw that up in less than a second, but that doesn't stop outdated advice being passed from parent to parent online. 

People log onto forums to type in questions that could easily have been typed into Google and at least that way they'd get a proper answer. People ask questions on their Facebook profiles to hundreds of people they may not even really know. Google it. Or, indeed, ask a friend directly, one you know and trust. I have a few friends who, when I'm looking for that tried and tested advice I can really count on, I can harass with endless questions about what colour to paint my walls or what my baby should be eating for breakfast. Not everything has to be answered by a faceless search engine, but ask people you trust rather than turning to an online room of people no more qualified than you. 

If you don't know something, Google it. It's 2017, that's what Google is there for. And if somebody asks you a stupid question, send them to Let Me Google That For You.

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