pry him away from his gadgets,
but Tek wouldn’t budge.
“I need to light a fire under that boy’s
butt,” grumbled Tek’s dad. “Except
I haven’t invented fire yet.”
from: Tek: The Modern Cave Boy
written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown and Company, 2016
The other day I read an article announcing Google’s 20th anniversary this month. I tried googling the company to find out more about its history and —- forehead slap! I realized that the proper noun has become a common verb.
Googling is something everybody does, whether we’re using that particular search engine or something else, kinda like wiping your nose with a kleenex, even though it might be a Puff or a generic brand.
Turns out, a couple of guys, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, decided it would be a cool thing to organize all of the Internet’s information. I remember hearing about that. I was a working librarian, after all. I thought of the daunting parameters they had set for themselves. I was curious about how they would go about getting it done, and how it would work, and what it would look like.
For my blog research, I typed <google> into my search engine. The following choices appeared:
Because I’m curious, I chose <google photos> expecting to be able to search women’s hats in 1920 united states or lemmings or sunflowers. Imagine my surprise when my own photos that I took in 2015 with my then new iPad appeared! I went back to the search engine page and typed <google images>. Wow! I could search for photos of everything I could ever think of, ever!
But I digress. Of course I do! Google has turned the internet and all our home and business computers into a giant-sized rabbit hole with paths and branches limited only by the searcher’s imagination.
I re-focused. This time I typed <history and development of Google, the company>. Two clicks later I had a thorough and lengthy Wikipedia article at my fingertips, complete with footnotes and bibliography.
Google began in 1996 as a research project. By September, 1998, it had an index of about 60 million pages. In March 1999, the company moved into a real office in Palo Alto, CA. As of November 2014, Google operated over 70 offices in more than 41 countries. Its current estimated worth is $800 billion.
Now I wonder, how is Google changing the way we think? And the way our kids and grandkids think? How do I avoid those rabbit holes? And how can we all live without Google?
The world evolves. So does the Internet. Do you know Siri or Alexis? They don’t require typing. Maybe future generations will evolve to have more thumbs than fingers? Or thumbs and no fingers! Will our brains be bigger, smaller, or just different?
And now that I know they are there, even though Google assures me that only I can see them, what do I do with those old photos?
Heaven help us if the electricity goes out!!