I no longer bother to commit facts to long-term memory, nor do I bother to remember new skills I’ve learned. Why would I? Isn’t that what Google is for?
Sometimes I can’t remember the name of some important building, like that big churchy thingy on the corner of that Whatyamacallit Street. My Google knows. “St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne,” my Google will offer (sometimes before I’ve even finished my sentence.)
There are times when I forget how to do something simple, like my job as a graphic designer. “Google, how do I make things big or small in Photoshop?” (At one point, I inadvertently taped over that particular memory with Youtube videos, even though erasing this knowledge as a designer is equivalent to a pilot forgetting how to steer the plane.*) Not to worry, my Google knows the answer. He always knows. “Apple + Shift + T, my dear Torre.”
I’m always asking him, “Google, how do you spell diahoreeah,” because I can never figure out how many letters are in that word and what bit goes where and Microsoft Word seems brain injured when it comes to spell-correcting diahoreeah (was it dropped as a baby?) and for some reason, I have a frequent and urgent need to type this word into emails and documents. My Google laughs in good humor, his Buddha-like belly jiggling, and tells me, “Diarrhea, darling. The spelling is D-i-a-r-r-h-e-a.”
But I become concerned that my relationship has become a little needy and dependant when I begin asking my Google questions to quell my general indecision about life. “What do you think I should wear today?” Or, “Should I go to that party on Saturday where I don’t know anyone?” He mutters something incoherent that doesn’t really answer my question. (My Google is like that: always blabbering to fill space and unable to just admit Sorry, I don’t know the answer to that. It must be a man thing.)
And then, if my Google can’t advise me I get struck down with inertia. If my Google doesn’t know, then HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE A DECISION? So I just curl into a small ball on the floor and rock, naked, of course, because my Google won’t help me dress, and I cover my ears to shut out the perpetual hum of digital equipment infiltrating my brain.
It’s usually then that I decide I need to make a change. I need to become independent. What would I do if something happened to my Google? Rock all day long in fetus position? No. Not good. Not healthy. So I cut my ties and disconnect from him. Airport: Off …
Then, I start to make diszcissions on my own. Insted of depenting on Google and Word for no-how, I just dig deep into my mammary banks, use my nogging and figure that shit out all by my self. And you know what? Just between you and me, it actshually gives me less diahoreeah.
*This is why I’m not a pilot.
Are you addicted to Google? Go on, stand up, share your name, admit your addiction and tell me your story (Comment!)
Torre DeRoche is the author of two travel memoirs, Love with a Chance of Drowning (2013) and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World (due out September 2017). She has written for The Atlantic, The Guardian Travel, The Sydney Morning Herald, Emirates, and two Lonely Planet anthologies.