Lady Asphyxia

Has Google Ruined Everything?

12 posts in this topic

We lament a lot about the 'pace' of the world and how everything is speeding up with e-mails and texts and twitter, and so on. And I'm a staunch defender of modern technology; it lets me speak to my family halfway around the world, let me carry on a long-distance relationship for a couple of months with as little disruption as possible, and lets me find ways to put my thoughts into actions as quickly as I have thoughts. 

 

Having said that, though, I am starting to come around to the idea that Google killed conversation. When was the last time that you had a discussion, an argument, a debate about some obscure topic and the question, almost as soon as it was raised, was responded with "Oh, let me google that!" -- and the answer provided in 60 seconds (105 seconds if you have a slow connection) ? 

 

I'm pretty sure I did that yesterday, so I'm not trying to pretend that I'm not a culprit. And it's handy having the information at your fingertips -- there has been more than one occasion where I truly enjoyed shooting down my flatmate's stupid idea with a simple swipe of my fingers. 

 

But having said that, recently the boyfriend and I have been 'doing brunch'. It's something we've started because we're both working, and I'm starting a new job that is quite honest about the crazy hours required, and it gives us 'alone' time where I'm not worried about whether or not the kitchen is clean on a Saturday morning. 

 

So we brunch. And we've now got this unspoken rule that, if we are having brunch, the phones stay at home. And suddenly our world just sort of opened up to this long forgotten art of debate for debate's sake, rather than to answer a question. Verbally sparring is fun again, which I never realised I missed until I found it.

 

In conclusion: next time you head to dinner or whatever, ban the phones and see where it leads! Or tell me about what else google has ruined for you. Or what you think of the modern day conversation. Let's be honest -- even the vaguest link to this topic would work. Heh. 

DouglasMr likes this

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I'll extend it a little further and say smartphones in general are the culprit. We have them all the time (which is fantastic as I have OneNote and a bunch of textbooks on mine, super useful for study on the go). Google is super convenient on that platform for locations/transport schedules etc., but it's a gateway for further conversation distraction...

 

Wife and I have recently made a "no multitasking" rule as we both found ourselves reading random stuff on our phones in commercial breaks one night...and then we weren't even watching the show. I would look up from what I was reading and occasionally share a random factoid from the article/cat picture/facebook page I had on my screen and she would do the same. No conversation or anything. It was really quite sad. 

 

I was forced to use an old brick phone for a while when my 'droid died. Suddenly I was in that weird T9 text world (muscle memory is an amazing thing BTW) and I didn't like it. I would actually call instead of text. I actually became massively more engaged in my environment. Moments of boredom or lulls in large group conversation didn't have me immediately looking for something interesting on my screen.

 

...and the second I had a replacement phone from a friend I went back to the old habits that found me on the couch with my wife with neither of us talking, just staring at two tiny screens while a 50 inch screen showed something we didn't even care about

 

/shudder.

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My boyfriend loves to argue just because he can fluster me, so it's a game to him. I do not like arguing with him because of that. So yup, I'll look up facts for my own sake and to get him to stop. Just last night I looked up how much blood was in the human body. He wasn't happy to be wrong, but it saves me the needless argument.

I don't just do it during arguments, but if I'm not sure about something or I see/hear something at work that I don't know, I will. I'm a Vet Asst, so I'm still learning the field and I want to make sure I'm not giving out misinformation.

Google is a nice learning tool, if you know how to use it.

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I like discussing things like cognitive linguistics or pedagogics because there are no real answers to the questions raised, but I don't like having discussions where someone is insisting on an untruth, and I know I could back up my arguments with facts. In the last case, I like the option of plopping out some answers via my telephone. 

 

One thing I really don't like about people having all the information of the world at hand, is that I can't use my linguistic background to tell people bullshit etymology anymore. Did you know that "to masturbate" was first used by sailors? "To turbate" was greasing the lumber. And "to confront" comes from the spanish "con fruncir" which means "with frown". 

 

They mIght take the info as an option for a moment, but only until they google "masturbate etymology", or something. Educational background has become worthless since Prof. Google took over the class room. 

liamc2 likes this

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We lament a lot about the 'pace' of the world and how everything is speeding up with e-mails and texts and twitter, and so on. And I'm a staunch defender of modern technology; it lets me speak to my family halfway around the world, let me carry on a long-distance relationship for a couple of months with as little disruption as possible, and lets me find ways to put my thoughts into actions as quickly as I have thoughts. 

 

Having said that, though, I am starting to come around to the idea that Google killed conversation. When was the last time that you had a discussion, an argument, a debate about some obscure topic and the question, almost as soon as it was raised, was responded with "Oh, let me google that!" -- and the answer provided in 60 seconds (105 seconds if you have a slow connection) ? 

 

 

I went to dinner (and a nice Max Brenner session) on Saturday night with my partner and two of my siblings. Did we bring phones out? Well, yes - not over dinner, but over Max Brenner afterwards. We were talking about travel and showing some travel photos, as well as a few funny memes and things like that.

 

However, most of the conversation was just that - a conversation. We probably might Google something here or there, but it's very rare (usually it's just about the definition of a word or something along those lines). So, for us, it can act as a bit of a conversation lubricant more than anything else (somehow that doesn't sound quite right...)

 

It's interesting though, because I do think there's this general sense that the art of conversation is being lost. I don't know if this is the reason for it or not, but in my own case, I find that close friends and family will often want to do specific things on weekends that take us away from that smart phone world. What I mean is, I'm increasingly finding that people will just come over for coffee - we'll have the TV off, and maybe some music on in the background. Or, like Saturday night, we won't do some huge loud event (although those can be fun), but instead, we'll just get a group together for dinner and coffee so that we can do what we do best (which usually involves psychoanalysing the family, haha).

 

Aside from that though, we often talk politics, religion, philosophy and current events. So there's always something interesting to discuss.

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Max Brenner, as in Chocolate by the Bald Man in NYC?

 

I think the form of conversation is changing, but it's not dying.  My friend and I have debates and arguments about things all the time.

 

In addition, like James, visiting family or friends used to be about watching stuff together.  Nowadays, it's when we do the opposite:  maybe talk about shows, or catch up with each other's lives.

 

I think it's better to look as conversation and lifestyles changing rather than dying.

Allamorph likes this

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I guess there was some merit to the old teacher argument of not letting us use calculators in elementary school... Though I still maintain that their excuse of "you're not going to walk around with a calculator in your pocket" is definitely invalid!

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The other day I saw someone google "3x7" to find out the answer. -.-

I can't believe how stupid that is! How much of an idiot do you have to be to type 3x7 into google. Typing in 3*7 would plug it right into their calculator.

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I definitely agree but on the flip side, it gets a little annoying when somebody asks me a really basic question when they could simply Google it. IDK... it's like, did you really have to make me exhaust my time to answer this? 

 

I promise I'm a really patient person haha! I just had a few friends who only contacted me to ask me stupid questions. lol!

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