‘Your generation cannot boil an egg without going online.’ – is a line said by a grandad to his grandson in one of the Slow Horses books I am reading right now. It is a great book series and also streaming on apple.
I read the book, but this sentence stayed with me for some reason. I am the child of the transitional generation who has experienced both worlds – the world of encyclopedias and the world of google, unlike my nieces and nephews, who had an Instagram account before birth or have a tablet attached to them as an essential body part.
I remember writing down phone numbers in a phone book and waiting for a phone call at my neighbour’s house. At that time, there was a waiting period to get a rotary (not mobile) telephone. And you were stuck to the telephone – the length of the telephone cable limited your mobility. And then, at some point, we had cordless phones. And then we got cell phones which, surprise, surprise, were only used for texts and phone calls. And then came the smartphones, and now we use them for everything except calling.
Of course, a lot of things evolved with telephones. We got to google and apps – the internet was not just a dial-up but available everywhere. And what this means now is that we (including me) search for everything. That is the first step for most of the tasks. The list of google search questions is as follows:
- What is the most healthy breakfast?
- How often should you exercise?
- What is the best exercise for losing belly fat?
- Weather today
- Banana bread recipe
- Boil an egg
- Best streaming shows to watch
- Signs of a toxic boss
- Reviews of a restaurant
- Which brand of toilet paper to buy
- Meditation timer
- When to shut off the laptop at night for ideal sleep
If an alien came and looked at how we live, it would probably surmise that we are all drones that run on instructions from the incredible web world. Google has become a verb, just like Whatsapp. The world has changed, and we have to change with it. But are we really changing or only making what we had before more efficient?
If my grandmom had a question, she would probably ask her elders about it. If my mom had a question, she would probably look at an encyclopedia. If I had a question, I would google it. To summarize, we look outside ourselves to get the answer if we have a question.
We are upset with a friend – we eat ice cream or watch a movie. We did not get what we wanted; It was external circumstances. I cannot relax because work is stressful. I cannot finish my novel because there is too much work. I cannot be happy because I have COVID.
It’s like everything that happens is because of circumstances outside of us. Russia is at war with Ukraine because that’s how it can establish its superiority. And this has been the predominant mindset and attitude of humanity. And where has that landed us? We have only managed the dig the hole a little deeper.
Isn’t it time we look inside ourselves for answers? Maybe that may result in a different course for humanity in which we may survive. How do you find answers to your questions?