Voices in My Head: Search Engines
Voices in My Head
It's almost alarming the effects on communication that a generation gap can have. In an attempt to bring my mom into the twenty first century I went out and bought her a personal computer and then a cell phone. I put her on my family plan for the cell phone and worked with her local telephone company to get her a DSL Internet connection. I knew there would be the occasional "technical support" phone calls but was caught entirely off guard with the direction our first conversation went.
The call came mid afternoon on Saturday. I had been mowing the lawn and had come inside for a late lunch. I was in a pretty good mood because I realized that the gifts I had purchased were being put to good use. My mom was asking me all sorts of relevant questions about finding various types of web sites on the Internet. That's when I suggested she start getting comfortable with a search engine because it's basically an index of everything on the Internet.
Then came my downfall. I suggested she use Google because not only is it one of the most powerful and popular search engines out there, but it's also my personal favorite. I even suggested how sometimes I like to Google my own name just to see what kinds of results are returned. Just a warning - if you are ever confronted with this conversation DO NOT use the phrase "Google yourself" with someone of your parent's generation. Did you know that according to my mom it's a sin to Google yourself? Not only that but I should be ashamed of myself for not being able to control myself and abstain from Googling all together. She even hung up on me but not before she told me she would pray for me.
I wish I could be there to see the look on God's face when he hears my mom praying for my soul because I Google myself on a regular basis. It would probably go something like this:
My Mom - Dear God, please forgive my son for Googling himself. He's always been such a troublesome child and I fear he has lost his way yet once again. I pray that you can help him be strong and avoid his temptation to Google himself.
God (rolls eyes) - Hey Saint Peter, is this the same Mrs. Leary that thought her cell phone was broken because she couldn't get a "dial tone". Did we ever inform her that cell phones don't get dial tones?
Saint Peter (chuckling) - I thought you were going to tell her.
God (smirks) - I thought you were going to tell her. Well at any rate, Peter, I'd like you to inform the woman that Google is a search engine and that Artie isn't risking his soul by simply typing his name and seeing where he's listed on the Internet.
Meanwhile my mom is at her weekly book club meeting telling all her friends that I have a filthy compulsive habit that she'd rather not talk about...but since they insist, well okay.
Now every time I visit the old neighborhood all the older women scoff at me, all the older men give me the thumbs up and all the children think I'm a monster. Even my old dog looks disappointed at me when I visit my mom.
This is the reward I get for trying to help my mom keep up with the times. I thought I was getting her some thoughtful gifts to help her keep in touch with her friends and neighbors. Instead I've become a black sheep with a lost soul.
Maybe I should just switch to Yahoo and stop being such a maverick.
Artie Leary can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org