Google-ization Atomization

Business Insider recently ran this article:

Ignoring Your Neighbor On A Plane Is A Weird Practice That Needs To Stop

One of the weirdest things about commercial air travel is pretending that the people sitting in your seat row are invisible. I find it truly odd—maybe it’s just me—sitting next to someone for four, five, six, or twelve hours pretending that they’re not there.

This phenomenon exists in a different form on the internet:

“Let Me Google That For You.”

Nearly any internet-savvy person recognizes the quote above communicates three things:

  1. The answer to one’s question is easily found on the internet
  2. The answer-er is uninterested in the topic
  3. Condescension from the answer-er that one would have even asked the question at hand

There’s even a pretty catchy music video about this very concept:

Taryn Southern – Google That Shit

Google That Shit

The atomization of society in the wake of the collapse of social institutions is remarked on somewhat frequently in the orthosphere…

…and I’ll add my commentary here.  “Let me Google that for you,” is in many ways another form of atomization.  I grew up with the internet.  I read random things on it all the time.  I write a blog!  I know that Google has the answer to just about everything.

Some time ago I realized this, and then deliberately began to ask people questions because I didn’t just want the answer, I was interested in their answer.  At times, I only asked the question to prompt social interaction of any kind, for whatever reason.  So the first time I that the “Let me Google that for you,” after asking a question because I wanted a particular person’s answer to an easily Google-able question, it kind of caught me off-guard.  The attitude is sort of a community-killer.  I guess human interaction can seem pointless, and doubly so when it is done just for its own sake (vice Google-ing something instead…), but isn’t that the point?


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