North Texas Daily

I love Google, but our curiosity is at stake

I love Google, but our curiosity is at stake

Screenshot taken from a Google Search

I love Google, but our curiosity is at stake
May 26
15:38 2016

Morgan Sullivan | Staff Writer

@sadsquadch

[dropcaps]F[/dropcaps]rom an early age, we all tend to be a little curious. For children, this sometimes includes sticking their hands in or on things they shouldn’t. Most mothers have a story of their children getting their fingers stuck in a hole or burning their hands on the stove.

As humans, we have a natural curiosity. We want to know how things work, why they are the way they are and how we can make them better. With the development (and dependence) of technology, however, humans have lost this natural spark.

Google is incredible. There’s no denying that. In seconds, it has answers to age-old questions like why the sky is blue or gives a somehow simple explanation of string theory.[df-subtitle] It’s the instant gratification we have come to depend on. If the answer to these questions aren’t in the first page of results, we stop looking. Anything that might be challenging to find is suddenly deemed not worth the effort. Google has made us lazy. [/df-subtitle]

Part of why curiosity is so fun is the fact that it isn’t always easy. People spend many years holed up in libraries and research labs chasing curious subjects. Research includes the possibility for follow-up questions, a chance to stray from the path.

When you search for something online, the possibilities are all very direct, thanks to semantics. Most people don’t run to an encyclopedia when they have a question; they turn to Google. Curiosity has a lot to do with your effort, and these days effort is hard to come by. Your feeling of accomplishment is diminished by hitting the enter key.

With the availability of finding nearly anything you search for, Google has managed to diminish our interests into a shallow pool. The instantaneous answers allow us to know a little about a lot of things. [df-subtitle]Instead of having a deep-rooted attentiveness to a few things, we are in an endless game of leapfrog from one topic to the next.[/df-subtitle]

Our questions skim the surface, receive the obligatory “best” answer deemed by the search engine, and then we move on to the next topic. We aren’t engaging, we’re consuming in an idle, haphazard pattern. We know enough about a topic to answer a pointed trivia question, and nothing more.

That’s certainly fine, if our lives functioned like a game show.

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