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Just a few days ago, I was interacting with some six-seven-year-old kids. I asked them, “Can one of you tell me how to convert this dirty water in this glass in my hand into nice clear water that I can drink?” I thought I would get dozens of answers. The first child I selected said, “Aap google kar lijiye (Just google it!)” and they all started laughing.
I was surprised. In my early years as a teacher, several hands would have gone up, and there would have been many answers. Now Google has become the new Guru for the young generation and rather than applying their mind, Google is their first step of inquiry.
Frankly speaking, we scientists were outperformed simply due to the fact that we had to depend on outdated information, which reached us so late. I remember spending hours browsing hundreds of pages of journals, just to find one answer!
We did the hard work of actually reading, absorbing and writing, while today in Google-age the vast library and repository is in your pocket. In the past two decades especially, the newer generation has forgotten that the human brain is a big repository with a great capacity to store information and more.
Google has converted the brain from a storage repository to a processor. That’s the big revolution it has brought. You pick up the specific piece of knowledge by searching it on Google and then process it the way you want.
It may be an easy solution, but what is lost is the power to read and learn from thousands of words and just depend on a couple of keywords. This means the joy of wandering and observing before discovering is lost.
The important things in life are observation, analysis and synthesis. So you and I observe something, then we do analysis and synthesise the new from it. Google has changed all that. It is life’s yin and yang today!
(As told to Jyotika Sood)