I got a set of World Book encyclopedias for Christmas in the sixth grade. With all those foil-embossed books just beyond the foot of my bed, I felt mighty and all-knowing. A little page flipping (and maybe some cross-referencing), and I could find out just enough info to satisfy any and all of my kid intellectual curiosities.
Nowadays, I’ve got this little phone that sits just inches from my pillow–and a larger, glowing box that’s pretty much always at arm’s length. In an instant, I can look up anything I want on these devices–and I do.
Do I ever. Especially when I should be asleep. Sleepy-eyed googling, I have no shame. Plagued by an obscure desire to find out what ever happened to Tato Skins or The Sundays or my kindergarten boyfriend (he climbed Pike’s Peak–or at least somebody with his name did).
So, when I read the 18-point contract that mother gave to her son along with a shiny new iPhone for Christmas, I was struck by the eloquence and the agelessness of her advice. But it was #17 on that contract that stood out to me the most: Wonder without googling.
It’s powerful to have these tools at my fingertips that will give me the answers to pretty much anything I ask of them–in a matter of seconds. No matter where I am, no matter the time of day. And it’s exhausting to have all of that information swirling around in my head. It’s enough to make me miss the days of my leatherette World Books.
I’m cleaning up my online habits in 2013. Less Facebook, more face-to-face time. Less surfing, more diving in. And with that comes wondering without googling.