Tag Archives: Creativity

The other side of “Googling”

11 Jan

Before I start ranting:

1. This piece has been further developed based on musings of a very dear friend.

2. I am myself an ardent googler and an avid fan of everything “Google” :P, but yes his comment did make me think and further build upon it, so here I am …

Be it the daily college assignments, a consultancy firm’s associate given an extremely tight deadline for some background research work, a start-up export agency looking for legal help, a mother wanting recipes for healthy yummy bites that will receive twinkling eyes when the tiffin box is opened at school, the frustrated tourist who has lost way, or the fukkad college student looking for a good deal to gift his girlfriend,  the immediate reflex is “Bolo Google mata ki jai” . 

Google is no longer “Search engines ka baap” – it has become the synonym for search engine – we “google it”; the world is at our footsteps: we can see places sitting in our drawing rooms, reach masses with a click, et. al – No wonder, Google Search has become an essential part of daily existence.

Let us look at the other side of it:

There is an omnipresent acceptance in majority of internet-accessing population that sitting on the internet is all it takes. As everything else, the side effect of easy availability of information has been “overdependence”.

While studying management, both as a graduate and post-graduate student, some cool (read: not-to-be-fooled) professors always pointed out “Anything copied/ reproduced from the web, even if slightly modified, will attract negative marks” or something to that effect. Some students hardly bothered and snickered their way out as the class ended, some saw it as another droplet in the holy grail of management – “Be Original”.

I was hardly exposed to the internet in school, but reality pokes me in my face time and again when I need to assist my neighbour’s children in their assignments or see my aunt’s six-year-old son creating a ruckus for a project he has to submit the next day but forgot about. Immediate plea by their parents – “Please google it and finish their homework”.

I accept. On weighing the circumstances, the failed previous arguments with their parents  and the threat of being re-tagged as an idealist and accused of not willing to help, I meekly google and finish the assignments.

And hence, we end up teaching  that there is no need for going to the park, finding a butterfly in the midst of nature and studying it, clicking its pictures.
Instead of inculcating the habit of writing about their experience in their own words, we encourage the child to read others’ experiences and put them down.
Instead of making the child think how to use tidbits of crap to make innovative models/games –  it is okay to just search an idea,implement it  and claim it to be their “own” – and savour in the pride when s/he gets a star!

We, so often do not pause and teach –

The one who clicked the beautiful picture played around with his camera, absorbed nature and practised so hard to master the art before uploading the picture.
The one who wrote beautifully about the family picnic  read and experienced a lot, knew the use of dictionary, wrote and re-wrote till he could express himself perfectly.
The one who invented the game was creative and experimented with multiple ideas before creating the best one.

We do not encourage them to struggle to get that “star”, to feel the sense of ownership of that little poem on their pet.
We so utterly fail to teach them “creativity”, “hard work” and sometimes, “integrity”.

This was about children and parents, then there is another class of people who my friend cited – those who use calculator for simple calculations, or search for trivial information or stuff that require common sense just because they are not able to retrieve facts/ incidents from their memory?
Exercise your brain and answer 56+45, my dear friend! Internet and applications are for ease and not dependency. you would calculate it by the time you open a search engine and input numbers

Little do we realise that to contribute to the society or to excel in work, we need to learn from what is present but at the same time think, question, interact with people and find solutions. We need to sharpen our memory and polish our common sense to be street smart, think on our toes, work quickly using tools at our behest, get out of complex situations and ultimately, contribute to what others can “google”.
Aren’t best journalists those who run after and find out a story and not those who reproduce?

P.S: He terms it as “Gependent” – a dependency by which process of thinking is gradually decreasing. Well, I do not agree fully but yes, I agree to what my boss told me during my internship: “Bhawana, the computer (internet) is not a substitute for human brain” and I will always thank him for that.
Well, “Gependants” do require common sense for effective search results :P.