Why do we Google everything?

Today, like every other Sunday, when I sat down to write something for my blog I realized I had nothing in mind. Usually over the week I find something interesting that I want to write about, but this time I couldn’t think of anything. Immediately I thought of taking my phone and searching (or Google) something interesting that I could write about. That itself really amazed me; how we are so dependent on technology and the internet for all our answers and it just drives away our curiosity. Being a student, I usually tend to write down things that I don’t understand so that I can Google it when I get home. The whole process of going through a bunch of books (or even asking the teacher after class) sounds like too much work.

While it has become very easy and beneficial for us to get answer to anything we want and anywhere we want, it’s also killing the curiosity that we are all born with- to keep questioning anything and everything that happens around us. The British author, Ian Leslie, in his book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It, cites a study that found that children between the ages of three and five ask about 40,000 questions and when they start schooling, the number reduces significantly. He theorizes that it could be because learning is hard work and it requires focus and discipline. (Lavine, 2014)

What annoys me the most is that there are all kinds of spoilers on the internet. While I stay away from the internet as much as possible while I’m reading a novel or waiting for a TV series to release, many of my friends just can’t resist the urge. And the worst thing- they end up spoiling it for me too!

But seriously, why can’t we be patient and give sometime for the curiosity to grow? Maybe it’s because we are lazy (so lazy that we don’t even want to think and get an answer from our memory) or maybe because we know that there are answers to everything online and all we have to do is get hold of an internet enabled device. What we don’t realize is that we are missing out on the whole process of getting from one question to another, while giving rise to another 10 unrelated questions. We have one question, we Google it, and it ends there.

Studies done by neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp and psychologist Kent Berridge have both concluded that our strongest impulse – even more so than experiencing pleasure itself – is the one that makes us search and explore. However wonderful this might sound, it’s not an easy thing to do. Imagine how the world would be if curiosity wasn’t there in the human species. We wouldn’t have known why things fall downwards and not the other way round, we wouldn’t know why we fall sick, we wouldn’t even have electricity, nor would we have any of the technology we use now (Good Lord!).

Not that we have become complete lazy beings, there are new inventions on a daily basis. With time, curiosity has taken different forms and continues to somehow exist. As Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”