I Can't Quit You, Google

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

If you spend any substantial amount of time on the Internet, I'm willing to bet some portion of that time you're Googling. I know I am — fact-checking, finding cool links for blog posts, looking up restaurants for tonight's reservations... and then switching over to Google Maps to figure out how to get there, then back to the image search to figure out what attire might be appropriate, and finish things up with a quick Gchat to confirm my plans with my friends. This isn't meant to be an ad for Google — it's just so darn useful, that I tend to think of it as more of a utility, like water and electricity, than a commercial product... Which, I'm sure, is exactly what they want! Anyway, I'm not alone, not by a long shot. Google turned 10 yesterday, and to celebrate, Colbert Report writer Rob Dubbin, who can hardly imagine life without Google ("When I am at work, trying to find the Inuit word for "hat," and Google tells me the answer is "Nasak," I accept this as "likely true" and move on with my life; ten years ago, I don't know what I would have done. Probably married an Inuit."), decides to take a day off, cold-turkey. His chronicle of that day is hilarious, and a little gross, and he joins us today to regale us. Could you take a day off of Google?

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I use gmail, google maps, and search everything through google. I can't imagine being online and not using google multiple times.

Sent by Katy McGreevey | 3:44 PM | 9-8-2008

How can one truly go without Google when most search engines use Google to conduct their searches?

Sent by Artem | 3:51 PM | 9-8-2008

I use Google and gmail as my primary search and email. I recommend that everyone have 3-4 email accounts and provide different information on each one. Old and young, male and female. Slightly different names for each account.

Sent by Steve Binning (real name) | 3:51 PM | 9-8-2008

i could go cold turkey, but it would be tough.
I have devised a google game, by the way, which helps my friends and relatives hone their google searching skills. Want to know about this game? It makes for hours of fun...and laughs.
I live in Berlin, Germany, and am a free-lance writer for US publications.

Sent by Toby Axelrod | 3:59 PM | 9-8-2008

I use Google as my default homepage on my work computer because it has no ads or articles to distract me. Thanks Google!

Sent by Carrie Lane | 4:00 PM | 9-8-2008

If Google went under would the government bail them out?

Sent by Aidan | 4:00 PM | 9-8-2008

Is google making us smarter by giving us all this information (a lot of it trivial) instantly, or is it making us less smart because we don't have to wonder and ponder and look for connections in things? Is all this googley-gook clogging our brains and preventing "Important" stuff from getting in? Can I google this to get the answer?

Sent by Laura Grzymkowski | 4:01 PM | 9-8-2008

I'm a location scout and member of the Location Manager's Guild of America. On one project recently, I had to find a rectangular shaped pool without any trees around it and a light colored bottom. The way I found that I could cover a large area was to use Google Earth to scout from above, until I found the pool I liked and then drove there to look at it in person. It worked very well for my purpose.

Sent by Steve Weiss | 4:06 PM | 9-8-2008

I can not fathom a day without google. I have to use google docs at work, I have a gmail account which I check constantly from my mobile device as well as my computer. And if there is ever a sudden question that I need to answer quickly...Google it! Not to mention I blog through blogger set up by none other than GOOGLE!

Gotta Love It!

Sent by Carmen C | 10:45 AM | 9-9-2008

It's not that hard to not search the internet!

Sent by Kristine | 11:54 AM | 9-9-2008

Here's one: my wife and I use Google Docs to argue! To put a bit more positive a spin on it, when some issue, controversy, or misunderstanding arises between the two of us and seems to persist, or when one or both of us feel something important we keep trying to get our partner to remember keeps getting forgotten, we share a single Google document and co-write our thoughts on the subject. Obviously verbal communication remains central, but on particularly thorny, longer-term issues, writing to each other enforces some clarity (and filters out some otherwise undesirable rhetorical maneuvers). We used to do this sort of thing with email, and could technically do something similar with a shared document on our own home network. With the Google Doc option, though, we have fairly dependable access to it wherever we can find an Internet connection (we do a lot of traveling), we have a history of who made what changes when, and there's no clash over how to file the things since we each can file them however we wish in our own Google Docs space. Of course, not *every* subject is fair game in a corporate-held forum whose control is sometimes ill-defined...

Sent by Lane DeNicola | 1:12 PM | 9-9-2008

I don't use Google. Microsoft (Live) and Yahoo offer great search engines. Live maps is better than Google. Live image search is better than Googles. Some people are drones and can't figure out that there are alternative technologies.

Sent by Karl | 8:32 PM | 9-10-2008

I can say I Googled before it was cool... I remember when the site was just a page with a funny name and a box you could type a search string into. And that was IT.

I wonder if this is how an uncle who lives in a different city or state feels when his niece or nephew visits him and is suddenly all grown up and has a job and family of their own. You know you don't get any credit for their success, but you still feel proud all the same.

(even IF your niece or nephew did piss you off when you heard that they'd gotten into bed with China.)

Sent by Kasreyn | 8:08 PM | 9-16-2008

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