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Too lazy to google? Good luck finding it the old fashioned way: John Blumenthal

LOS ANGELES — My wife and I had just sampled our appetizers at everyone was talking about the Fabulous New Snobby Restaurant, but not being a foodie, I didn’t pay attention to the glorious explosion this concoction was meant to induce in my Paleolithic taste buds.

Instead, I sneaked glances at the younger couple at the next table. The man stared into space as if searching his mind for an elusive answer to a question; his date was similarly busy. Suddenly she said: “I got it! It was Sean Penn!” After a moment, he replied, “No. It was this big bearded guy. The name starts with a B.”

Had they been seniors, this would have been a senior moment. At my age, minor memory lapses are commonplace, so I turn around after drawing blanks google.

Eventually the couple gave up. “Google,” said the woman. He replied, “No, you google it,” to which she said, “Forget it. I’d have to find my phone in that purse, go to the Google app, type something, and then agonize through all these boring websites. Also, I don’t know how to phrase the search. Such a hassle.”

Long story short, nobody googled it.

Googling fatigue at its worst.

Alongside lazy Googlers, there are those who can’t figure out how to compose a search and the absent-minded who forget Google exists.

People have asked me if I know how to fix a computer or inflate a tire to the correct PSI. “Sorry,” I would say. “I’m not a geek or a human instruction manual. Try googling it.” Their replies are often, “Hey, I never thought of that!”

Never thought of that? A Aggravation?

When I was in high school (circa 1965), research meant first consulting the family encyclopedias. When that approach failed, the only other option was to visit the library and use an outdated version of a search engine called the Dewey Decimal System. Invented in 1873, this “system” consisted of alphabetically arranged 3×5 cards that gave information about the exact whereabouts of books. Numbers and letters on the volumes and shelves corresponded to those on the maps. Most of the time you just got lost and asked a librarian. Once you find the books, it can take hours to find the information you need.

Today, the libraries of the world are contained in a device the size of a Dewey Decimal card. Google taught me how to install drywall and home remedies for psoriasis. With Google Image I can see paintings by Monet and photos of Greek ruins.

Johann Blumenthal

Do I have Google fatigue? On the other hand. Sometimes I google out of curiosity. Who invented the catheter (Benjamin Franklin), what was the name of the captain of the Titanic (Edward Smith), how far is it from Paris to Tierra del Fuego (8,223 miles.)

Google isn’t the first miracle people take for granted. Hominids would have been amazed by supermarkets; Nowadays, people complain when the checkout line doesn’t move fast enough. In 1865 it took 30 days to travel from New York to San Francisco (I googled it); today it takes six hours and we get annoyed when you run out of pretzels.

Why are we so blase? Do we regularly expect amazing innovations from science? Is there just too much information? Why are these advances so amazing at first, and then slowly become commonplace? Why are we going from “Wow!” to “Meh!” in such a short time? Will today’s lazy Googlers be powered by chatbots, or will that also come into play? meh area within a year or two?

(Kids born after search engines were invented will be unimpressed — they naturally believe chatbots have always existed. At two, my grandson can scroll.)

Incidentally, pretzels were invented in Italy in 610 AD. I googled it.

John Blumenthal, an award-winning novelist and former magazine editor who co-wrote the film Blue Streak, has had his work appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Playboy, Publishers’ Weekly, Salon, and the Huffington Post . This was written for The Plain Dealer and

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