Google has become an intimate part of our lives in the past week. I mean, who doesn’t love google? As a culture, we seem to have a sort of addiction to google and use it for so many things: looking up random facts, searching for “running into glass door” videos, finding old high school friends/enemies on the web, diagnosing our illnesses, job searches, directions to a new restaurant and leaving a review for the restaurant…. that’s just scratching the surface of Google’s abilities.
This week Ben and I received our Christmas gift to each other: Google Home for the living room and a Google Home mini for the bedroom. I always suspected that Google has been listening to me for years, but now I know for sure. My new Google Home answers my trivial questions, looks up and plays music, ensures that I dress for the weather, sets alarms, sings lullabies, calls my contacts, knows my schedule and can tell me the daily news. “Ok Google, what was the score of the Jets game last night?” “Hey Google, when do babies start smiling?” “Ok Google, tell me about my day tomorrow.” You get it. I’m not trying to be an ad for Google Home, I just never thought I would own a robot. Aside from getting me “Tea, Earl Grey, hot” it can do pretty much everything the computers on Star Trek can.
On top of all that, it knows my voice. It recognizes me. I’m positive it isn’t a good thing that Google is always listening to me, but I’m also positive that the internet is listening to me whether I have Google Home or not. We can’t escape it. Technology has changed our lives and we can’t avoid it. Might as well embrace it… but it has it’s dangers.
When you have a baby, you google stuff. All. The. Time. Yesterday I googled, “Why are my babies boogers white?” Pointless crap, but I’ve got time and google is right there tempting me, always listening. Azazel was a small baby when she was born, despite being 5 days overdue- 5 pounds, 10 ounces. Ben and I googled the crap out of that- “Why is my baby so small?” And google delivered answers like intrauterine growth restriction, malnourishment in the uterus, developmental issues, future likelihood of diabetes and obesity. Uhhhhh… all because my baby is a healthy and happy weight of 5lb, 10oz?!!?! But as a new mom and dad we’re freaking the hell out. Those answers lead to googling the signs of development issues in newborns and it snowballs from there.
Don’t google stuff.
I am loving the Google Home that plays me Spice Girls first thing in the morning so I can have a dance party with my girl before breakfast, but the Google that sends me down the rabbit trail of death, doom and gloom- I am not a fan. The phrase “too much information” doesn’t exist in this ‘age of information’. I have information at the tip of my tongue and having it so easily accessible can quickly lead to stress and stress to anxiety.
With so much information at my fingertips I learn more than I need to know: the Mom who’s back to her pre-baby body 2 weeks after delivery or the old classmate who’s in your high-paying, high profile dream job. Suddenly I care about my waist size and my salary when my values tell the story of self-love and concerning myself with helping others, not helping my bank account. I end up playing a game that no one is playing but me.
We can have so much information that we forget that life is about connection, about relationship. Without connection, we are robots. This holiday season, experience the joy of connecting with the people you love.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Solstice! Have a great holiday season from Azazel, Ben and me.