Some Days You Just Want To Ask The Internet
The Internet has provided us with many things. As I sit here writing this I am entertained with web-streamed music, auto-updated messages flowing into my inbox from places near and far, and an array of different Internet web pages opened. Nine to be exact; each of them feeding me a different voice, a different thought and, more likely than not, a different opinion.
I remember back in grade school, before there was always a laptop in front of you and a cell phone in your pocket, the dreaded research paper. Back then, research didn’t mean gathering my current junk food craves and plopping in front of a computer to search, read, and repurpose the top 10 search results of Google. It was a process of encyclopedias and Dewey Decimals and somewhere, deep down inside of all of that text, was the information I was looking for.
Since then the Internet has progressed in obvious ways to become the fastest and most convenient way to find information. To find anything, really. And its audience seems to become more and more tailored to its dependency. Come on, when is the last time you didn’t know the answer to a question and your first thought wasn’t “Google-it?”
We all do it, and I’m not the first to say I’m not that ashamed. The Internet is a huge database for us, the Christopher Columbuses of digital information and knowledge, and we should use it. It’s more thoughtless than finding the stuff in real life, anyway. But should we be dependent on what the Internet tells us? It’s hard to imagine a person, business, or really anything to have an offline presence without an online one. I mean really, even Pencils have a Facebook page.
Furthermore, though, dependency on the Internet has come so full-circle that people turn to it for things that encyclopedias and books couldn’t fulfill. Sites like WebMD have made it easy to type in your symptoms and self-diagnose, no professional necessary. And though you may find out that even your broken thumb somehow means you have cancer, the fact still remains that you have the option to ask the Internet and search away. The same can be said of YouTube, with its countless How-To videos posted daily to explain everything from how to make fire using only an orange to how to wash your hands in space. So I experimented to see what common questions people expect the Internet to be able to answer, and what the Internet could tell me!
But today, I just want the Internet to tell me where to eat lunch.