Google Is Your Dad

No Need To Ask Your Dad Anything Anymore

Do you remember the days when you used to go to your dad – or your mom – or your extended older family – in order to get advice and information on things? Your dad seemed to know everything, right? If you had a question on almost everything – why is the sky blue – why is the grass green – all of those how and why questions, he knew the answer. Weren’t we always in awe of his seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of everything?  He’d teach you how to iron shirts and shine your shoes (do people still do that?), barbecue meat, and not just the manly things. Dad was your go-to guy for, well, most anything.

How often did your parents say “I don’t know” when you asked them a question? They were always your first line of defense against ignorance.

But that’s not the case anymore. Your dad doesn’t know everything, your mom doesn’t know everything. Does that mean the parents of today gotten dumber? I can’t tell you that – I guess its possible. Maybe for the same reason, too.

Knowing stuff is not as important as knowing where to go to get the knowledge. Knowing the fastest way to get the answer, instead of knowing the answer itself, has nearly become knowing.

That right, folks: Google is your dad.

The other day I walked into the living room and my kids were talking about something I know about. They were asking each other a question, and just I was I about to answer the question, they both said “Let’s just Google it” and walked right past me into my younger sons room to go Google it…

Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, Google does know more than me. So there is really no question Google can’t answer. And in some near future seamless world, where our wearable devices can listen to our surroundings and just answer our questions as soon as we ask them (or eventually even think them). So on the one hand, this is a good, and likely inevitable thing. We can’t stop it. But on the other hand, not being the “first line” of knowledge feels a bit weird. It’s the transition: have we already moved from the world where knowing something is less important than being able to Google it?

This is the future: the just-in-time delivery of knowledge, by vast machine “intelligence”. Soon enough, we won’t even need to know how to find the information we need to know – it will just come to us – as we need it when we need it.

Is this simply a natural progression into the world where all the world’s knowledge is accessible by anyone, anytime, with a smartphone, or a horrible dumbing down of our society?