What’s Wrong with Google?


My husband has a new smart phone that talks to him, tells him that to perform a web search he should touch the Google icon and say, “Okay, Google.”

A new toy!

A new toy!

It works! He can say, “Okay Google define munificence,” and the smart lady will tell him the definition, pronunciation, synonyms and more than anyone ever wanted to know about generosity.

The first few days with this new toy, he drove me to distraction. I would hear him talking in the other room and think he was addressing me.

“What, hon?”

“I’m talking to Google!”

He couldn’t leave the driveway without asking Google for a traffic report. First thing every morning, he would turn on his phone and ask Google about the weather. When he sat down for Bible study, he had to have the new gizmo nearby.

It seemed like Google was going to take the place of the local weather man, the Mapsco books we’ve relied on for years, the Strong’s Concordance of the Bible and my 1969 edition of Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary. Maybe we wouldn’t even need the TV anymore, or the computer. This new device does it all.

When he asked me if I knew where his wallet was, I was tempted to tell him to ask Google. I guess it was getting to me.

Phone in hand, "Okay, Google!"

Phone in hand, “Okay, Google!”

About a week into this obsession, driving down the road with phone in hand, Dan said, “Okay, Google. Okay, Google. Okay! Google!” and then inexplicably, “What’s wrong with Google?”

I glanced his way to see him still staring at the phone. He wasn’t asking me a question; he was asking the phone to diagnose itself. For some odd reason, this sent me into a fit of giggles.

Was I glad we had driven out of satellite range? Was I relieved he couldn’t talk to the smart lady? Was I encouraged my husband might start talking to me again? Perhaps.

In the days since, Dan has settled down with his gadget. The newness has worn off and he doesn’t play with his phone non-stop. It’s a valuable tool and we’re both glad he has it.

Every day he finds new uses for the smart aps. In the field, he can find out the proper readings for an air conditioner using a new type refrigerant or calculate the length of a pipe or convert liters to ounces. In a pinch, he can even ask Google how to answer a customer’s query, “¿Está roto?”

So is there anything wrong with Google? If you asked me when I wasn’t laughing so hard, I might give a few caveats but answer, “No; I think it’s a good thing.”

Read more about how to use Okay Google

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About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
This entry was posted in Short Takes on Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s Wrong with Google?

  1. janets123 says:

    Yes, we do, Carole. Most of us, anyway. Just seems so weird to see people plugging their ears and eyes to what is going on around them, talking to machines. May we be spared! ¿Está roto asks the question, “Is it broken?” but you probably knew that, you students of Espanol.

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