You have died of Dysentery

dysenteryThe Oregon Trail was right. If I lived back in the days of the “Wild West” (or, pre-internet, for this argument) I definitely would have died of Dysentery. I use the internet for EVERYTHING– including, determining the shelf life of my food.

Case in point? Tonight, I was trying to decide if this package of chicken-apple sausage I had in my fridge was still good, and didn’t know how long sausage “kept for” in the fridge. Rather than calling my mom and bugging her with the mundane question, I hopped online and entered my exact question in Google. (Yes, there was a date printed on the side, but the package was frozen at one point and I wanted to know how long I had from when it was thawed and opened… you get the point. I’m a germaphob, and totally wouldn’t have made it out in “the wild”).

The results were fantastic. First result? A sausage making site. Second result? USDA. Third result? Wiki Answers (look! someone had the EXACT SAME question!) For most online users, performing mundane online searches is something that we do day in and day out. For, me, I “Google” things so frequently, I honestly couldn’t begin to quantify the number of searches I do in one day. I have to know everything. But what impressed me was how advanced and socially oriented search tools are becoming.

Rather than using old boolean search tactics of “sausage” & “shelf life” & “fridge” or something to that effect, I literally typed in my question to Google. “how long is sausage good for in the fridge”

That’s the part that gets me. And, the part that freaks me out, because as I pointed out, by using the internet, I opted to cut out human interaction. Instead of picking up the phone to call my mom to ask her about the shelf life of sausage, I instead, opted for a non-human resource with humanistic tendencies, and then decided to blog about it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to use the internet as a social search tool, and I love that the internet is becoming inherently more social, as I think it’s good for business and it’s good for logic. I think it’s amazing that people across the world are able to share their knowledge and insight with other people in ways, mediums, and methods that we never thought were possible. I think that we haven’t truly appreciated, understood, realized, or experienced the full potential of the internet, technology, social media, or any of this, and that excites me. However, as technology becomes more human and we continue to innovate and evolve, its important to appreciate real human interaction as well, as without it, we’d have nothing to model these new social tools after. 😉

Anyway, you get the point. Underlying message? Go call your mother.


2 comments so far

  1. Gail Ann Williams on

    so did your mom give a different answer than google did?

  2. Melissa on

    Her answer included a bit more common sense, which is something the search engine omits– she told me to basically not eat it and then told me about the same answer as Google. But, I got to talk to my mom. 🙂

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