With technology advancing and the world wide web a large part of our every day lives for most of us, it is easy to overlook the significance of Google and social media. How many times have you been in a rush to get somewhere and needed to quickly look up the address? All we have to do is go to Google, type in the business or company name and usually, we don’t even have to scroll more than a quarter of the page down before the address and telephone number are clearly displayed — map included. If you need place to buy your Thanksgiving pies, Google will tell you the bakeries close to you, link you their website, their address, and their hours. If you want a new recipe for your turkey, Google will give you multiple websites with various recipes, and even YouTube videos showing visual instructions. Virtually any type of information, from car repair shops to how to do your accounting homework (I know from experience) can be found by a quick Google search.
Not too long ago, I was watching the movie, Say Anything, which was made in 1989, before the internet and cell phone world existed. Growing up in a generation that relies heavily on social media, like Facebook, and texting, watching the lifestyle differences in this movie really opened my eyes. When Lloyd Dobler wants to ask out Diane, he has to call her house, talk to her father, and set up a time to come over. There was no requesting the girl you want to talk to on Facebook or texting her to see if she’d like to go out sometime. He couldn’t search the internet for her address or go on her Twitter to see what her plans were for the night. The ability of Google is something many people in my generation take for granted because it’s all we’ve known since we’ve been in elementary school.
Being a college student, I use Google for everything and am quite positive that I wouldn’t do half as well in my classes if not for the internet. It is extremely rare to not be able to find the information you’re looking for, especially if you know how to use search phrases efficiently. Social media sites, such as Yelp, also allow the user to read others’ opinions, reviews, and suggestions on places of interest. Facebook allows users to reach out to friends for advice and tips, such as which bakery in town has the best Thanksgiving pies (hearing opinions from someone you know may be more assuring than hearing them from a stranger), or seeing which is more well-known based on their Facebook page’s “likes.” Google and social media sites are incredibly useful tools and are something that should be taken advantage of.
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