What must we NOT Google?

It sounds so anti-thesis to what anyone would think in today’s world. But that’s what i learnt over the last few weeks.

NOTE: I am a big fan of Google, its services and its entrepreneurial approach to everything. So this advice is NOT against using google. But how to utilize the power called Google in the RIGHT manner.

A young man experiences a symptom. A few years ago if it was bothering him he would go to a doctor to seek advice. But now he goes online first – Googles the symptoms and learns about the possible problems. He doesn’t understand half the words in most articles the way a doctor should – but yet arrives at some solutions. He decides to take some tests online and concludes he/ she has a particular disease.  This creates more psychological damage than having a disease will actually create. With this information (partial and misunderstood) within reach, people today feel they know what even a doctor declares he is still not sure about.

When information was not democratized ignorance was bliss. Now with information access almost unstoppable, we need better maturity to acknowledge the limits of information and our ignorance of the knowledge. If we don’t accept the limitations of our individual knowledge we will not surrender to an expert to help us. We will question everything they say – in fact in one such conversation at a doctor’s clinic, I heard the young patient (who i accompanied) actually ask the doctor why he is prescribing this medicine and if this was not for some particular disease which he had read online. Will this half baked and misunderstood access without any quality check on the source harm more than benefit. This only time can tell. But in the mean time its worth learning first:

  • What someone should search online?
  • What someone should NOT search online?
  • When someone should stop the search and seek help?

Atleast let us not try to Google to learn medicine as patients!

To start: Google to know & locate. Ask to learn – and ask someone who knows.

If you have any advice and/or experience on how to use search services please do share them!

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2 thoughts on “What must we NOT Google?

  1. Raj, People google everything now! There was an interesting effort by Stephen Wolfram called Wolfram Alpha (http://www.wolframalpha.com) – It is still to live up to its promise. This is called a Knowledge engine.

    In the future only experts who are creative will remain. All rote work will be relegated to computers.

    1. Thanks Sriram as always for leading the thinking to the next level. I will look up the referred website. My only concern is that along the way we should not lose too many young people to psychological challenges because of half baked knowledge (or is it information?) 🙂

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