Why Google Instant is a Bad Idea


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Most people know that I studied social media in graduate school. But, most don’t know that I also studied how people experience Time. Time with a capital T can actually be broken down into various dimensions. Some of these dimensions are: urgency, precision, scheduling, and pace. We all have 24 hours in a day but how we experience those hours is vastly different, even when our tasks are similar. While I applaud the fact that Google wants to save us a few milliseconds a search, I am not convinced that trying to guess my thoughts is the way to go.

Why Predictive Technology is a BAD IDEA

Google recently introduced Google Instant. Long gone are the days where you had to WAIT a few seconds for Google to deliver your results. Now, Google will deliver them as you TYPE. That’s right. Before you even finish a thought, Google will provide you with helpful suggestions. Can you imagine Google Instant as a date?

Me: I love dog..

Google Instants: Dogs? Dogging? Dog toys? Dogs for sale?

Me: Just dogs… (Check Please!)

What can I say? I don’t like the idea of my friends or my search engines trying to guess my thoughts as I try to construct them myself. I am, however, okay with it suggesting relevant searches after I’ve completed my query. I even appreciate such ingenuity.

“Did you also want to search for some dessert recipes while searching for entrée recipes, Shama?” Google asks kindly.

Why, yes Google. Thank you!

I worry about Generation Z…or whichever comes next

I am a big proponent of technology, and I’ve always believed that as a society it helps us more than it hinders us. In this case, I am not so sure. As a Millennial/Gen Y, I’ve always felt that technology has helped my generation.

But, what about future generations? How do you learn to communicate and to construct thoughts in an efficient manner when you never get the chance to do so? I gave up my math skills thanks to a dependency on the calculator. Do I want my children to give up their cognitive thought processing abilities thanks to a dependency on Google?

I think not.

What if Google EXCLUDES you?

And, what would happen if you offended the Google Gods? What if Google decides that you aren’t worthy enough or algorithmically okay enough to be a part of their database? What if it had no references to you? You’d cease to exist online because of people’s dependency on this search engine. You may blame me for being dramatic, but in this case it isn’t far from the truth. Just look at the millions of websites that no one will ever see because they can’t be found.

Is it possible for search to be faster than your mind can process? What happened to “Do No Evil?”

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddieicon/

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