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Google Me This

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What passes for knowledge these days is a funny thing, a moving target. With the advent of Al Gore’s interweb, anyone can quickly pass themselves off as an expert on just about any topic. Since 2006, the word “google” has been in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a verb. Hence, “I’ll just google it” was born.

There are times when googling is the way to go. Trying to remember which negative battery jumper cable goes to the vehicle body and which goes onto the battery, for instance. I can never keep that order straight. Or how to remove a cork from a wine bottle without leaving tiny floating pieces. These sorts of topics are made for googling.

I’ve also found Google helpful when I or someone I know gets sick. Googling an illness can open up all kinds of information and questions.

But there are times when googling is used to take the place of actual human interaction. This is particularly annoying when this is done on a professional level. And I will hang this one on the younger generations (x, y, z, aa, bb, etc.) who are more averse to human contact than my own less-thangreatest generation.

I recently worked with a young temp employee who was new to Navasota. One of her duties was to check the mail each day. I gave her the mailbox key and asked her if she knew where the post office was. Her reply? “I’ll google it.” Seriously. So why not just ask me? I’m standing right here. I have that kind of knowledge after 17 years living in the hood. She gave me a similar reply when I asked her about the Navasota Center. AND when I asked her to verify the spelling of a word for me. AND when I asked if she knew our QuickBooks accounting software. For her, the ability to “google it” was a go-to resource to answer any unknown question.

I view this employee’s reluctance to ask for help as a red flag. And my greater concern is how rampant this “fake it ‘till you make it” mentality is among our lamest generation. As an employer, I don’t want you to “fake it.” I want you to know it. Or to be willing to ask if you don’t.

Google does not have all the answers to life’s questions. If it did, we would all just go to Google University online and save thousands of dollars in formal education. Of course, this is already a thing. I didn’t know that - I just googled it.

Google cannot tell you if your neighbor is home right now. Or what your niece wants for her birthday. Or if someone you know is feeling depressed (unless they choose to share those feelings on Facebook). The more personal aspects of human interaction are what is always going to be lacking in a Google search.

In reality, there is very little that you cannot google. At this point, nearly anything and everything is out there. But be precise in your googling efforts. I recently googled the actor Gary Oldman. I found out how important the “r” is in that search term.

The column represents the thoughts and opinions of Johnny McNally. Opinion columns are NOT the opinion of the Navasota Examiner.

Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County and writes a bi-weekly column for the Navasota Examiner.