Tag Archives: advice

Google Game: How much should I…?

No! Bad, mommy! Bad!

If you have questions about how to take care of your newborn, or whether the kid’s within the range of normalcy, ask a doctor. Ask your mother, your neighbor, your grocer. Ask anyone with any baby-rearing experience, but for Pete’s sake ask a human.

When you talk to people — like actually, physically talk — your brain automatically makes certain judgments about the quality of information you’re getting from them. Does this person seem reliable? Does she have the background needed to speak authoritatively on the matter? Is her hygiene reflective of the kind of person I ought to take advice from?

When you’re reading online, you have to actively pose these sorts of discretionary queries, and most people don’t think to do so, or simply don’t bother. You have no idea who’s writing most of the crap that populates atop Google’s search results. It’s one thing to use unverifiable information to guide you on how much you should spend on rent or a ring, or whether you should feel good/bad/OK about your relative heft (things that, let’s face it, aren’t entirely in your control anyway). But when it comes to caring for a baby, please don’t listen to Google.

For that matter you shouldn’t be listening to me, either.

Google Game: Don’t Have It, Don’t Want It

What if? What if? What if? Life is full of what ifs. What if I do this? What if I need that? What if the sky falls, if the mountains crumble, if I break my leg or get knocked up or forget my wireless password? What if Google is down?! (It’s OK, it’s not, deep breath.)

It’s one thing to go online to look for practical solutions to every-day problems, like alternatives to baking soda…

But consulting the Internet for amorphous philosophical quandaries could be troublesome:

Don’t want a background on your Google? Google that. Don’t know if you want to stay in/get out of your committed relationship? I think there are healthier ways to approach your ambivalence. WebMD is a quick alternative to a doctor, but it shouldn’t replace a proper diagnosis; Google may lead you to advice blogs or forums of like-minded folk, but remember, it’s not as personalized as it’s designed to appear. I sincerely hope people are not, in favor of anonymous web-searching, forsaking the wisdom and understanding of friends, family… and professionals.