What do You Google? And Why?

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a silkscreened design she made for Silk Oak, to illustrate grieving cats. Thinking about Life Before Cell Phones used to give me a headache. But now it’s Google, the Internet search engine for quick easy retrieval of information, that I cannot imagine living without.

Vital information. Like, how to take grease stains out of grout. Like, what do screech owls sound like? Like, what is chermoula and how do you make it without cilantro?

Before Google, I would wonder about something, and maybe try to search for an answer in the library. Most of the time I simply accepted that the world was full of puzzles I’d never solve. There were too many questions one couldn’t ever hope to answer, even with the help of the sharpest librarian. Like, what ever happened to Mark Newhouse, my first boyfriend?

There are things I search for regularly on Google. Like synonyms, and chili recipes. And I google my own name periodically to see what others, who might be googling me, can see. A few times a year I google, Where is Marika Warden? My 20-year-old daughter who died 6 ½ years ago. You wouldn’t think anything could change about her. But every time I search, Google yields different information. Last week, in addition to the regular old obituaries, Google listed a White Pages link for her. When I clicked on it I learned that Marika J Warden, age 27, “Lives” in Ithaca, NY. It noted there were 13 marriage records, 2 divorce records, 1 birth and 1 death record affiliated with her name. It cheered me. Like she’s still somewhere in town, still trying for some Guinness World Record.

You can ask Google anything. Anything! Like, do cats grieve? I did not pose this question. I merely googled ‘grief’ and ‘cats’ to link these two ideas together so I could paste this kitty illustration I designed long ago for Silk Oak (google it) into this blog post. Google instantaneously connected the two, and offered up hundreds of articles on grieving cats. Which led me to wonder, what else could I connect, and why would I even want to connect things like ‘nosebleeds’ and ‘frying pans,’ and what in the world isn’t connected in some way, and why do I feel compelled to keep searching for these things?

So, after much consideration, I have an admission: I don’t google to find information. I do it because it feels good to get immediate responses. Lots of responses. It’s like receiving free gifts. And it connects me in odd ways to the rest of the world. Google confirms I am not alone; people from all over the planet are searching. Which led me to the discovery that I’m not the only one addicted to Google.

 

What do you google? And why?

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8 thoughts on “What do You Google? And Why?

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    I google for information. From late August to early October, I googled to find information about Monarch migrations and raising Monarchs inside and how to do that to keep them safe from predators. I learned about Monarch migrations and also had to find out more about the one Black Swallowtail I raised. Expertise was a link away once I discovered the best Monarch raising sites.

    I also google for images, especially goddess images or things in the public domain that I can use in blogs to supplement my photos. I’m grateful to have images available with immediate knowledge or whether or not I can use them legally. (I always choose the legal.)

    I use FB, email, and texting to fill the loneliness gap when I’ve been too alone for too long and need to reach out. None of these would have been available to me in the past. I’m grateful. (There’s Bing, there’s instagram (recommended by my son), there’s pinterest, there’s … I have more than enough with twitter, LinkedIn and FB. Way more than enough. Time to walk outside and see the real world.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Really. All the time we spend on social media. Good to get outside and find some balance or antidote to all of this. I thought of you on ones of my walks recently when I came across a Monarch fluttering in the street. It did not look like it was going to make it to its winter destination. I remembered how you were nursing these guys this summer. Wished I knew how to help the poor little thing. Suki and I watched it a bit, couldn’t decide if it was really in trouble or simply shaking out. Amazing creatures they are. So now I need to google in Monarch butterflies to trace their migration and send blessings out that the one I encountered will be well on its way. Cheers, Elaine.

      Reply
  2. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, after reading your essay I have to brag that at one time I was No. 1 on Google for the search term “abstract art.” I worked very hard to get that spot–I was obsessed–and having it did help me sell paintings. But then the internet art market exploded, I got tired, and now I no longer work on that task. I just use Google to find useful information that I need.

    Thanks for a fun essay and the great cat image!

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Oh to be anywhere near the top of the search items. #1 for abstract art. Yes! THAT must have been work. I cannot imagine. But, as with all wonderful things, success is short-lived. Can’t be sustained. We must revel in the memories. Well, at least be able to brag about it. Congratulations for that. I can’t even manage a #1 spot for the search of my own name. Sigh. Thanks, Lynne. I’m happy that even as an abstract artist you can enjoy my old cat image re-dressed in Photoshop.

      Reply
  3. Diana Drucker

    For a change of pace try Bing. Although google is now a verb and the go-to search engine I like Bing too. Here’s a very good chermoula https://www.wozzkitchencreations.com/collections/dressings-sauces/products/north-african-chermoula-dressing-marinade which has cilantro in it (I hate cilantro) but I like it anyway- the cilantro does not dominate it. And try googling from a different computer- different results for the same questions because they base their answers on your history.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thanks, Diana. Yes, I do need to Bing more. If I use a different computer and a different search engine it might be like wearing blueish grays, which is something I’ve started doing the past few weeks, maybe I’ll feel like (and write like) a whole different person. I wonder what I’d be Binging about? Binging sounds about as much fun as googling. Maybe more, as googling makes me think of gargling or gurgling, not nearly as invigorating as Binging which brings me to flinging, maybe singing, zinging, ringing or pinging. Not too far from binge-ing. Which is what I do on chermoula. Must try this readymade chermoula as it could save me a bunch of time if I didn’t have to chop and cook in order to satisfy my craving for this stuff. More time for more Binging. Cheers!

      Reply
  4. Gayle Gray

    Had a good laugh and was moved, the usual experience of your wonderful writing. Love the art too.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you so much for listening, Gayle. I wish I could generate more “good laughs.” The world needs more laughter. Oh, to find someone who could drag up laughter from the depths of my heart. And even more magnificent would be to be able to warm other people with something to laugh about. Something to work on.

      Reply

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