If you Googled “this on a Saturday night”, well well – you sir are a literalist. If you didn’t allow me to show you what you have missed out – check it https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=this+on+a+staurday+night&rlz=1C1DVCK_enSG440SG455&aq=f&oq=this+on+&aqs=chrome.0.59j57j61j60j0j60.1362&sugexp=chrome,mod=4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
A whole bunch of SNL stuff as you’ll find. Don’t know what SNL is? Well click on one of the video links and be enlightened. The thing is, we’ve (well most of us) have been using Google a lot more than we would like to admit—knowingly and unknowingly. Much like the plate we put our food on when we eat, we use it all the time but don’t go “oh hey, hmph plate, really compliments the mash.” And that in essence is our Google-dependence-taken-for-granted in a nutshell. Perhaps you missed it but in the first sentence of this blog post, you were told to Google “this on a Saturday night” and not search, or Yahoo, or Bing, or find, or look up, or… You get the point—the fact is, Google as a web tool has is so widely used that it commands its own verb—now that’s baller. So how has Google changed our lives? Well the answer is in more ways than we can imagine.
Do you remember the time when iOS relied on Google Maps for directionary functions? Well of course you do. Like the mat that you were so comfortably dusting your feet on when suddenly it’s pulled out from underneath you, causing you to fall and land with a heavy thud therefore eliciting gloriously profane utterances—yeah Apple’s user’s reaction when Apple discontinued Google Maps on their devices with iOS 6 (released late October 2012). iOS isn’t the only device that relies heavily on Google Maps though, any Android device as a matter of fact. And since most cell phone users are on either iOS or Android, it’s safe to say the bulk of us are on Google Maps. We use it, we don’t exactly recall the Google brand every time we use the maps, but judging from the sheer reaction of the Apple fans that had the Google taken out of their maps, the withdrawal is debilitating.
As a student I use Google a lot. I use Google docs for synchronized document working, Google groups for synchronized private online chat discussions, Google search and Google maps for obvious reasons, and to a lesser extent, Google+ for social networking. YouTube, in fact, my favorite go-to site for my daily fix of videos and visual snippets, is owned by Google (bought over in 2006 at a price of US$1.6 billion). Google hasn’t exactly changed my life; it’s quite rightly part of my life. And I see many of you stuck in this circle of reliance too.
Maps, Docs, Earth, Scholar, Calendar, YouTube, and Groups notwithstanding, many other people use Google for all sorts of things. Adsense for example, puts the dime in SME online businesses—if SME online businesses ever needed the word dime to spell it (you get my point don’t you). People use Google to post notifications and keep them abreast of daily events of interest, appointments and whatnot – much like how on a more micro scale your hand phone would ring you a notice telling you what to expect an hour later – “DO THE LAUNDRY NOW LEROY!”
Schools advocate the use of Google (Scholar especially – in tandem to other scholarly search engines they have in place), lecturers use Google groups to keep in touch with students (like mine right now!) and many many more. Given that we are all so reliant on Google, it begs the frightening question that if it were all to come to nought one day – services, applications and other critically acclaimed and much utilized functions – what will become of us? I hate to admit it but, it might just be the end of the world as we know it (REM, 1987).