A week without Google This wasn’t exactly the easiest experiment. If I were to sum it up, I’d say, it was rather painstaking. Preparing for a week without Google was like preparing for a marathon. I had to gather all my courage and determination to do this. The worst part: I thrive on routine. I literally can’t survive without doing the same things over and over again every day. Google is something like that for me. I absolutely have to use Google search or at least one of its other applications: Gmail, blogger, Google+ etc. on a daily basis. So just thinking about a week, felt like an impossible plan. The first day I started, I had to distract myself constantly. Every time I’m online, I tried to limit it to only Facebook, homework and Hotmail. And whenever I’d feel like Googling something, I’d just get up from my chair and walk around my room. This did help a lot. The little walk, back and forth around my room, seemed to calm my urges and distract my mind. Yet it was hard. Because the moment I’d sit down, my mind would sort of “beg” me. It would keep “begging” to take one look or one peek. So I had also control my hands from wandering onto the keyboard and typing Google.com. But when it got really difficult, I just grabbed a book and started reading. Day two was a lot more restless. I really couldn’t sit still. So I was in the middle of trying hard to focus and then something really bad happened. My mother asked me to help her with her laptop. Now whenever when I want to fix something and I can’t figure it out, I Google it. Since I had vowed to stay away from Google, I was completely confused on what to do. So I tried to redirect the problem to my brother. But to my utter dismay, he was about to leave for school. In
order to keep my promise to myself, I just had to lie to my mother. I said “I can’t fix it” and walked away. For the rest of the day, I used the same techniques as day one and managed to distract myself. Day three came. I was prepared and set my mind to it. But something awful happened. It was a mistake, but this how it happened: I was going through Facebook and I randomly came across a word I didn’t understand. It was one of those slang words people use on a daily basis. To look it up I had to open Google. Now without realizing what I’m doing, I quickly opened a new tab and Googled the word. I looked up the word and just when I was about to close the tab, I realized what I had done. It was a complete reflex action and I didn’t even stop to think about it. But it was too late, I had broken my promise. Even though I failed to keep my promise, I didn’t stop. I decided to try again. This time I took my mother’s help. In fact, she also wanted to try it. So we started together. Whenever she would want to Google something, she would instead talk to me. I would also do the same back to her. This helped us motivate each other. Also, we randomly reminded each other whenever we sensed the other was losing control. But unfortunately, in two days, the one week time was already up. This was a fun experiment. In fact it was rather interesting to watch how psychologically compelling it can be. The little restlessness, irritation and anger was funny to experience. This shows how humans are really people of habit. Even the most flexible person, like my mother, found it hard to keep up. It wasn’t just psychological. But also felt like a physical strain. Having to walk around and constantly remind each other was tiring. This is when I realized Google is indeed a huge part of my daily life. A simple thing like even Google search had such a big
impact on my brain and body. So it made me wonder: if this is how it felt for a week, how would it feel for a lifetime?