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Google Syndrome
by Julie-Anne Heise - Wednesday, 16 January 2013, 10:06 AM

Just Google ItWithin my circle of friends I have been dubbed as ‘the queen of googling’. This always makes me smile, however, it has recently got me thinking….

Starting out as a uni research project in 1997 Google is now worth over $200 billion, with their home page being available in over 80 languages – including Klingon in case of alien invasion! Google’s mission is to "organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful (" ‘Google’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006 as a verb, referring to conducting a search on the Internet using any search engine.

I went camping for two weeks over the summer – without my laptop. It was going to be a great break from the digital world…. But as the days wore on I found myself ‘googling’ things on my iPhone. I was like an addict – needing to confirm my views, knowledge and next thought. Jimmy Wales, of Wikipedia says that, “If it isn't on Google, it doesn't exist.” It struck me that I may even get to the point where I actually know nothing at all – so dependent on ‘Google’ and the confidence that I could gain the answer in seconds that my brain could turn to mush. How many times do we hear students, our peers or ourselves say, ‘just google it?’ I think there is nothing wrong with researching on the Internet, however, perhaps we need to way up the cost a little.

Google It“With Google I'm starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless (Doug Coupland, writer).”

The reason for my ranting about ‘Google’ is that for billions of people around the world their first action or thought when they have a question or a problem is to ‘google it’ – usually with great success in their quest.

My challenge for myself for 2013 is to keep God and a desire to communicate with Him, lean on Him, listen to Him, and love Him higher in my mind and heart then the spontaneous will to ‘google it’ when I have a question. Will my heart and mind drift to God more frequently than my lazy mind flits to ‘Google’? Will I grow in my knowledge of God through study and a time commitment, or will I rely on quick superficial answers from a quick Google search?

This may not be directly relevant to you and your situation, however I challenge you to replace my issue of ‘googling it’ with your own. Let’s make this a year where we seek deep knowledge of God that will be unshakeable and unmistakable to our students, colleagues, and families.

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8

“Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” Matthew 22:29