Google is your best friend

It really comes as no surprise that a lot of people would agree (most of them students) that the internet is one of man’s greatest inventions.  Why wouldn’t it be? It practically has everything one needs to know. And with just a click of a mouse, you are able to access so much information in so little time. Who would’ve thought that something that started out as the US government’s way of sharing information within its own network blew up to something of a cultural phenomenon that is not limited to just its 50 states.

The way the internet has made life easier for most people means that all other resources for information are becoming obsolete. During the first half of the 20th Century, print and radio communication was the primary media sources. Later on, television replaced radio and now the internet is replacing television. And even more amazing is that the innovation process has only just begun. As Bill Gates mentioned in his essay Shaping the Internet Age, the internet is just in the infancy stage. There is so much that the internet has revolutionized (particularly in the field of communications) and has yet to make so. Just how big is the impact of the internet? This video that I found not so long ago showed the numbers that back up the internet’s influence over us.

Gates stressed a number of reasons behind its tremendous impact on the world, namely: making the world smaller, bringing people closer together, and making the world simpler. I would have to agree on all points, particularly the third. It seems as if an internet connection is the single most important thing to have these days if you want to survive in this era. In all honesty, I could do without television (YouTube), radio (Last.fm), or newspapers (Yahoo! News) as long as I have a desktop or laptop on hand and a router. I can’t tell you how much I get really pissed off when my internet service provider gets a glitch. The internet’s promise of having something to look forward to every time I open my browser makes it such a necessity. The fact that I am able to learn via the internet makes the Php999-a-month subscription fee to BayanDSL worthwhile.

However, not everything is all fine and dandy about the internet. It is the proverbial double-edged sword. It may have had a huge role in making everything a whole lot easier for us, but it’s that very reason that makes it potentially harmful (especially when we talk about privacy). Some people have the internet to thank for for the current success that they are enjoying (read: Justin Bieber) but it is also the same thing to blame for ruining them (basically anyone who’s had a sex tape or any incriminating document that has been passed around the web). Virtually anything that goes viral on the web has the potential to destroy one’s reputation. Cyber-bullying is also a problem and has led some people to commit suicide. Just imagine if Hitler had access to the internet during World War II and had Twitter account! Tsk tsk.

And of course there’s always the issue of intellectual property. It has, for the most part, almost killed the music industry (and to a certain extent, the film and television industries) for being the medium people use for downloading mp3s and videos. Also, it has served as the lazy student’s go-to “person.” Wikipedia is helpful and all but some push the envelope by copying and pasting whatever it is that is posted there and submits it as homework. What bothers me more is that some take pride in the Ctrl+C+Ctrl+V+Ctrl+S activity (yes, there’s a fan page on Facebook). It has led people to say that Google is your best friend because you can look up almost anything with it, and you’re bound to find it at one point or another.

Certainly, I could go on and on with the numerous pros and cons of the internet but that would be reiterating everything that Gates has mentioned in his essay. I have to give it to him for being very meticulous with the points that he raised. Surely enough there are a whole bunch of bloggers out there who have said these as well. For now, however, the challenge for us users (and occasionally abusers) of the internet is to be more responsible and a lot more careful. The least we can do now is use the power of the internet for good (particularly with bridging the gap between the “digital divide”) than use it for our own selfish needs.

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About Zid

My wit is legendary. View all posts by Zid

19 responses to “Google is your best friend

  • Judy Marie Santiago

    With Google as your best friend, I believe, that friendship never ends. 🙂 Haha. I soo agree that people nowadays rely on the internet more than to anything or anyone else. 🙂 Nice, informative post! And sleek blog. 🙂 Good luck on this!

    http://longlivejudyism.wordpress.com/

    • Zid

      I agree! We’re all BFFs with Google! 😀 Thank you by the way! I’m trying to veer away from the feel of my older blogs which were too loud and too juvenile. 😛

  • xydc

    Google is my best friend too! As well as Yahoo! and now, WordPress! Haha! 🙂
    What I wrote on my blog was that, the Internet makes our world revolve faster; and by this time the Internet is not in its infancy stage anymore. It grows so fast that it’s starting to conquer the world, hehe. 🙂
    We must understand the risks of being careless with the use of the Internet. I like it that we have the same perception of responsibility towards its use.

    • Zid

      It’s kind of stressful having these sites as our best friends. They’re quite the needy bunch; needy because they can’t be ignored nor neglected. The trouble with the internet is that you’e directly responsible for whatever it is that you post (be it a blog entry, a photo, a video, a podcast, a status message, a comment, etc.) on the web. Some of said posts would certainly haunt you in the future if you’re not careful enough. The least one can do in case of an internet misstep is to address it properly and be mature about it. 🙂

  • barrycade

    your fluid writing style makes this long post easy to read. subheadings would make it a lot better too as these put your key points in segments. i like it too that you shared a relevant video to drive home a point (choices are many on Google so it’s a matter of picking out the relevant and credible one).

    i like the examples a lot, too. they give more concrete and current ‘meat’ to the points raised by Gates. the only thing i found lacking is the OrCom element. it must have been lost between the lines or i missed the point.

    • Zid

      I think I need to work on filling up that missing piece. I went over my post and I do agree that it lacked the implications that it has on how organizations can better function with the use of the internet. I’ll try to work that out in my succeeding posts. Thank you, Sir! 😀

  • galeaya

    High maintenance friend is more like it. The internet is like a drug, once you’ve started taking it, it takes you in so deep. You’d have a really hard time to try stopping, and withdrawals always come to get you back.

    Seriously though, it’s great that you decided to expound on the negative impacts of the internet. You’re right about the sharing of information crossing the line with copyright. The sad part is that although many people would rather have legitimate copies of those downloadable content, they have no choice but to subscribe to illegal means due to various reasons – unavailability, high product costs, etc.

    • Zid

      I don’t think there was ever a day that I did not check my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Going offline for me is like shutting myself off from the rest of the world… even though I meet some of the people that I interact with the most online, in school. LOL.

  • slightlydillydallying

    Opting to integrate an informative video in your post further enhanced your message. Yours is an easy read which is a good thing!

    Although not going online for a long time bothers me, I think I can survive without Facebook (spare me yahoomail though!).hahaha.

  • mythoughtprocesses

    I guess Google, and the Internet in general, has definitely become everyone’s best friend these days (too bad for the dog for it was dethroned). Particularly since we all want everything to be easy, fast and as much as possible, free. Unfortunately, just like everything else in the world, the Internet is only as good as the person using it.

    • Zid

      I’d like to think that the internet has the potential of turning us into pitiful, lethargic beings (as in the case of the movie Wall-E). LOL. Too much of a good thing would almost invariably result in something bad.

  • pennedinpink

    Google is my best friend too (aside from Facebook that is)!

    The ironic thing about the internet is that while we are so obsessed into finding information about a certain topic or person, we are also very careful as to what information we share about ourselves. And let’s admit it, we sometimes get annoyed when the information we need isn’t readily available because the one who put it up doesn’t really want to share it. It’s a confusing reality, actually, this I’ll-post-it-here-but-I-want-to-keep-it-to-myself attitude, just like the way someone posts a photo and puts watermarks on it to make it exclusively his or hers.

    • Zid

      Privacy definitely is one of the things that we should be vigilant in guarding. Too many people have been caught in the middle of credit card fraud and identity theft.

  • Franze

    We both used the words ‘fine and dandy’. I swear I haven’t read your entry when I was typing that fail-post of mine. XD Ah Zid, you never fail to be fab. 😀

    I think that the Internet has integrated itself to our generation’s urban lifestyle. Sometimes being well-connected online is almost as good as being socially active in the real world.

    Google is very, very useful – so useful that it’s tempting us to skip the formalities and just do tasks the easy way. The Internet has become ubiquitous and user-friendly that information – both useful and fake – has taken heed of God’s divine mandate of ‘go forth and multiply’. Google – and any search engine, really – has the power to conjure the information we need and don’t need.

  • attackofthelines

    Indeed, the internet has really changed our lives. It’s now difficult to imagine life without it. I shudder the thought of being away from the Facebook grapevine. On a more serious note, the internet has made communication easier, and it practically made businesses and economies move. It’s just a matter of how we could use the internet to our advantage.

  • juolpindo

    “The least we can do now is use the power of the internet for good.”

    I agree with you. The internet is a very powerful tool to influence other people. As the internet especially google is beneficial to us, it is still in our very own hands that we consider google and other forms of the new social media as useful tools to communicate, collaborate, and co-create with other people.

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