computer
blogging, History & Traditions

Google will Help You

In the almost forgotten days B.C. meaning, “Before Covid,” we might search for holiday accommodation, or sightseeing spots using Google. Sometimes Google suggests places we didn’t even know we wanted to go, based on our search history and we don’t have to ask.

hotel entrance stained glass

Whilst away on vacations, we might need to know a good place to eat nearby. No need to ask the concierge or at the Reception desk, as Google can tell you. Do you want to know what people thought of the atmosphere, the food, the service of that restaurant? Google knows better than any food critic. Directions to get there? Google will be delighted to share various routes and time frames. Not sure of the constituents of a fancy French dish on the menu: Google will be happy to elaborate.

You might have consulted the medical form – Dr Google – who compiles a list of potential medical conditions from your given symptoms.

Can’t find that recipe for Turmeric flavoured Brownies? Chef Google to the rescue.

So much of our news and information stems from social media pop-ups, short headlines or excerpts on Google. News services and some newspapers have been made redundant by Google. We are now so good at finding out information for ourselves, via Google, I wonder if journalism will become redundant too?

Syndicated news doesn’t seem to reflect differing viewpoints any longer. Instead, reporters grow more like the mouthpieces of social media behemoths, reporting on what they personally think of a topic, rather than any balanced, objective or original perspective.

There is little need for a media launch or PR campaign for a new product. With a small amount of money, social media marketing will use targeted advertising will reach your chosen audience and Google spiders automatically do the rest.

Google is omnipresent and listening. If you don’t believe me, try saying, “Hey Google” to your cell phone.

Flowers
Time – less flowers

Google has made the world better by improving access to information, but it has also eliminated a multitude of jobs. How did we ever manage without it?

In referring to time, our future years may be B.G. and A.G. – Before Google and After Google.

1980’s was a year B.G. – being that time when we used Telephone books, Street Directories, read broadsheet Newspapers and Hard copy Dictionaries and more people had full time employment.

I remember those days.

51 thoughts on “Google will Help You”

  1. So agree we use Google so much these days. Any question we have, we can Google it and we can get quite a different opinions at once. If we asked someone as question, they will probably give an answer from their personal point of view which might have some kind of bias.

    That is a good question, if journalism will be redundant. I think in the future journalism will be mainly digital, and it’s also quite common for news articles to come up in Google searches as well. I do think Google ads and search algorithms are part of marketing strategies these days – subtle targeted marketing as opposed to direct marketing through newsletters and emails.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good point you raise, Mabel. Whilst targeted advertising and some journalism is biased, Google will present you with a variety of opinions through their sites. Popularity and relevance is their measure for rankings, not a hidden agenda.
      Are you managing okay down there in the pandemic? It sounds really crazy! Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is true. Relevance and popularity is often what makes it to the top pages of Google. Then again, who knows if certain kinds of opinions tend to rank in Google based on the way search algorithms are wired.

        I’m doing alright over here. It is really strange times but I think many of us have reevaluated the way we live our normal lives, and that’s a positive. Hope you are doing alright over there, Amanda.

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        1. Ooh. That could be so, Mabel. Especially in light of Graham’s comment re Google’s motto.
          We are so far ok in Qld but you never know, the next week could bring new cases.

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          1. Graham does have a point in that search engines like Google can save our location. Though we’re all entitled to not participate in online activities, I do feel that Google and social media makes things so much more convenient these days, and I do feel I learn so much more online these days.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Without a doubt, Mabel. The internet and all its apps offer up services, entertainment and knowledge that is, by and large, free and and available so conveniently – at our fingertips. This is part of the allure, but we should, to quote an old adage – be wary of wolves in sheeps’ clothing. As we know that power generally corrupts, the power these companies have in our lives, and will potentially have over our lives in the future,could be a grave concern. The development of any new frontier or venture often seems to race ahead far too quickly for appropriate controls to be placed on it. We need time to see and monitor the ramifications for people and society. I am not someone who advocates for regulation, but I fear that we don’t have any idea of their long term plans. I do wish we could use their invasion of our privacy as leverage for demanding full disclosure of their intentions.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. You bring up a good point there, that we don’t have any idea of the long term plans of the biggest conglomerates in the world. Always doesn’t hurt to think twice of what we see and hear these days.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Think twice before we click ‘like’ – apparently data spiders can collect infirmation on one’s sexual orientation based on their ‘likes.’ What else are they inferring?

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, on the one hand we have access to so much information at our fingertips, on the other hand we can’t even remember a friend’s birthday or a phone number because Google or Facebook will remind you. I’m 36 which means that I’m that in between generation, i didn’t grow up with a mobile phone or a computer(got them when I was 16) and I had the luxury of a social media free childhood, yet I use and need Google and everything else. But I could go back to B. G. times easily (before Google) πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is interesting to hear that you say that you could return to B.G. days. Do you think we would falter after a week or so and grab the phone again?
      I think once the cat is out of the bag, we become a little spoilt and it is difficult to return to having to find the book, look it up.
      As regards Google maps, I actually prefer to look at a hard copy map, or larger scale map. I like to see the whole picture of where I am navigating to, not just the next 200 metres until I make the next turn. And you are right, we forget birthdays and phone numbers now. I only know one of my children’s phone numbers by heart, yet years ago that would never have been an issue. I still remember phone numbers from those days – home phones that are now largely defunct. I wonder what the long term implications are for our memory?

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      1. I know my best friend’s phone number but not my husband’s πŸ˜‚ yes, I could live without it but only if I’m without a phone, it’s too tempting to take it in hands and waste time scrolling mindlessly. So, lock up my phone and I’d be right

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You have pinpointed the problem,Tanya. People use phones to pass time and mindlessly scroll sicial media, when nothing happening to hold their attention around them. Then they get locked into checking messages texts, posts and notifications. I think this is what marketing taps into – and plays with our short attention span with quick visuals, or short, pithy and sometimes useless pieces of information.
          I have heard that our attention improves if we are away from device screens and phones at least one day a week. I am going to aim to do that now I have retired from paid work. It is a big challenge

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  3. Interesting read about Uncle Google.True life is miserable if Dr.Google is not consulted and we are lost in Amazon forests God Google inthe Avatar of MAP is not working.Life can’t be imagined without Google. But don’t we feel some where olden days are better ?
    Opinions can vary.
    Thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is true that many folks harken back to the “olden” days. They feel nostalgic about the past and yet we enthusiastically embrace new products, along with new gimmicks and devices. It is more difficult to stay behind without the modern cons. I resisted a mobile phone for many many years, but the last ten years and the introduction of smart phones has changed that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So right! I remember looking for books in the library for my school homework. I forget what the index cards are called – where the title or author is listed? Let me Google what it’s called. There you go: card catalogue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The catalogues! Yes, it took much longer didn’t it to source information, which has put many librarians out of work. Do you also remember looking at old newspapers or documents with Microfische monitors? Flicking negatives from side to side in those light boxes?

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I agree. It did train us to search for answer. In this way, it seemed to encourage lateral thinking and problem-solving. Many young people struggle with this concept in real life, whilst can problem solve a mathematics equation quite well! It is interesting to note, isn’t it?

              Liked by 1 person

    1. You could be right, Jane. There was a recession in the late eighties. I think things were better in the early eighties. Although I do remember many kiwis immigrating here for economic reasons around that time. Now, ironically, you guys are doing better and the kiwis are returning home.

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      1. Depends on the country. In NZ the 1980s were DIRE. I remember it well! We had raging inflation, rising unemployment. I don’t know whether we are doing better than Oz economically now, or just Covidly πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I suppose I am going by what my Kiwi friends and cousin’s experience was and is. We did have the ‘recession we had to have during the Hawke-Keating era so my memory might be off. Lol at using ‘Covidly,’ as a descriptor. At first the teens here called it the’Senior Deleter!’ Although that joke has well and truly passed by now the gravity of the sutuation is upon us, Covid as a term has become a household term and sadly, synonymous with 2020. I see America is easing travel restrictions!

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  5. This is an interesting post, Amanda. We have come to rely heavily on Google type search engines. They are extremely helpful but can make us lazy. I will admit that, and trying not to be crass here, I have a sign someone gave me on my fridge that says “F@#k Google, ask me.” It should read “ask mom.” My kids, step children and step grandchildren, even my ex daughter in law come to me with all their questions. My son will say “go ask Dr. Mom”. His doctor said I was an excellent diagnostician and had great faith in my ability to know when something could be handled at home or needed more advanced care. I have a very practical mind and rely on the good old remedies for so many small things. Common sense is so rare in people that my daughter says it should be a super power. With lots of experience can come great wisdom is you are open and always learning. Google type search engines are great places to learn things if you don’t assume what you are reading is accurate. I never assume anymore. I’ve had MapQuest send me to the wrong place many times so when in doubt, call first. I LOVE technology but it’s only part of the equation. You have made me think about this. I don’t trust the news no matter where it comes from, implicitly. Question everything is my motto. Especially now. And I don’t leak your address and phone numbers or track you shopping habits and put people out of jobs. Too wordy, I know. Sorry, you can edit. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No need for any editing, Marlene. I love long comments! Your raised some important points here.
      Don’t trust Google to do the right thing with the immense power they hold – or any other company for that matter. Personal information and shopping habits is valuable information for many.
      I have also had Google maps try to send me driving over a sheer cliff! Of course I didn’t comply! I suppose that technology is slowly improving with updates. So yes, to quote you: “I LOVE technology but it’s only part of the equation.” – Another Marlene Gem! I think teachers would agree. My kids relied too heavily on the internet for assignment and essay research and I think they are finding that students lack the comprehensive understanding of a topic that reading a book can give you. They just Ctrl F to find the salient information and copy and paste it! Ridiculous. It won’t be retained. As you rightly pointed out, accuracy is never assured when reading information on the net – as the comment from Jane Shearer pointed out.
      Question everything. Develop common sense and listen to those who have it. Trust your gut feelings.
      All important life lessons. Thank you so much Marlene. I can see why everyone comes to you for advice or answers. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A monumental turning point in history, Margaret-Rose! I remember using alta vista and how there was a choice of search engines….. I will look at the link. I can imagine they would be a very dangerous company if nefarious interests were in charge.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The Pandemic is playing into their hands. “4.83 bln internet users worldwide based on Internet World Stats, or in other words, 62% of the population is on the internet.

          Furthermore, the recent COVID pandemic has only expedited this transition. In the past, many may have referred to the online environment as a convenience, but the lockdowns this year proved without a doubt that online integration is an absolute necessity for most (if not all) businesses and humans.”
          Worrisome….

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  6. You are right, Amanda. I check with Google many times a day. Taking all media with a grain of salt is even more important today. Pros and cons to everything. I just have to be careful mentioning the word β€œbra.β€πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rofl, @ that word Eric/ka! We certainly won’t mention it. Did you know that as one of my hobbies, I learn the Norwegian language? In that language, bra means “fine,” or “well,” so perhaps it is okay to use in that context? We can tease Google a little bit, can’t we? In the interests of our research?!
      As for media, and @Insearchofitall mentioned: Question everything. Technology is only part of the equation.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Although I like the convenience of being able to access information with the greatest of ease, I do feel a little uncomfortable when I have a conversation with someone and next thing ads for whatever we were talking about suddenly appear in my feed. Google is always listening.

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  8. Well, I don’t use Google or any of their products if I can possibly help it, and sadly in this day and age that’s almost impossible. They gather all your information, they track everything, and they’re the kings of targeted advertising and targeted news based on the information they glean. Their motto used to be ‘Don’t be evil,’ but that’s slipped from its place of prominence in their code of conduct, prior to disappearing altogether I suspect. I’m not so naive as to think others don’t track you – they do – but I try to avoid those that do as much as I possibly can.
    I’m also sad that search engines, which I use all the time, have caused us to lose that joy of discovering things for ourselves, whether that’s information found in a book, an out of the way restaurant, an unexpectedly good movie. When I think back, some of my happiest times have been moments like that. Now, like everyone else, I look up which restaurant gets good reviews and I expect the food and service to meet my expectations. More often than not I’m disappointed. When I’m not disappointed, I’m rarely wowed because I knew it was supposed to be good. But I miss those times when a restaurant was chosen on a feeling, an impression, and a ‘Let’s try this place.” Sometimes the results were a miss, but the hits were out of the park excellent. I can recall many wonderful experiences stumbled on by chance.
    As for using Google maps and GPS and the like, why give up the enjoyment of finding your own way. Better still, get lost once in a while and figure out what to do without Google or Alexa or Siri butting in. You mentioned future years may be thought of as B.G. and A.G. – Before Google and After Google. From my perspective, A.G. is the Dark Ages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see this is a subject that you feel strongly about, Graham. And with good reason. You can do just about anything with data and Google appears to be collecting masses of it. It seems ridiculous to think that some dystopian future a la the movie A.I. may eventuate, however, one wonders if that would happen. After all, no one thought the movie, Contagion, would become real. ( I think that is it? I haven’t seen it, just heard that one of these recent movies referred to a pandemic except I think it included zombies and hopefully we are not there yet!)
      Some time back I saw a disturbing documentary by Michael Moore* who interviewed some young computer wiz kid who was working behind locked doors, “designing the future!” *(I just had to look up Michael’s surname on Google – darn it. My memory could not recall it).
      We are so reliant!
      The young computer gun seemed like his mind was totally on another plane and something about his eyes really concerned me about his true intentions.
      I wasn’t even aware of Google’s former motto.
      Why would Google even feel the need to put , “Don’t be Evil,” in their code of conduct? That is worrisome indeed.
      I do agree with you in regard to the joy of serendipitous discovery of fun places. Now we are directed to particular places. Every business MUST have a website to be “seen.” The pandemic I have to say seems to have played into Google’s hands with the amount of folks utilizing web services, for which advertising revenue slipped only marginally when the pandemic hit. See the link of M-R’s comment.
      I do prefer to find my own way to places that I know but refer to Google maps in the first instance. But I don’t trust it as I have been sent astray a number of times. Again we are directed to go a certain way. The level of control this company has is incredible when you start to delve into it, even on a personal level. My husband – the Moth loves gadgets so we have these darn listening devices around the home turning on lamps upon a spoken command. I do not like them. I think they are unnecessary. To the moth, they are a toy! It sounds like they could be more like the Annabelle or chucky doll of horror movies!
      Thanks for making me question more about our lives and the way we live it. I will rely less on reviews for restaurants now and go with my gut feeling.

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  9. I feel strongly about it, but also accept that it’s not a big deal. Personally, I’m appalled at how easily people surrender their privacy, but I also recognize that for a younger person that’s the norm. They accept that being tracked is just a part of everyday life if they even think about it at all. Things are always changing and that’s what life is about.
    I have to say I wouldn’t ever have one of those voice response devices in my home. I’m willing to make the big sacrifice and get up to turn a light on or off. It’s great exercise too!

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