GOOGLing is destroying your critical thinking.
Now before you come back all aggressive on me in support of Google. Let me clarify that I support this democratization of information completely; it is just that we should first hone our skills in asking the right questions. Let me elaborate.
Have you ever wondered while trying to find answers on Google, you get exactly what you want to believe in? But that is good.
Read on to know why?
Let’s do an experiment…
If you type on Google:-
‘Is Hindutva philosophy regressive’’, you get X results supporting it.
If you type ‘Is Hindutva philosophy good for India’’, you get Y results supporting this as well.
What if you typed: ‘What is the meaning of Hindutva’’, you get Z results on the topic.
So where is the Truth?
Is it good or bad? Is it regressive or not?
That’s beside the point. I am not going to get into that argument.
So what happens finally:
For every person who gets enlightened with the right information about Hindutva, there would be an equal number of people who would get misinformed, fuel their bias and ultimately hold an opinion that is neither truthful nor wiser.
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And this is true for so many serious & sensitive topics like Homosexuality, Religion or even God. I can just go on.
“A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put his pants on.”
So what is the point I am making?
- Asking the right questions is more important than finding an immediate answer: Google has made information accessible to all age groups. But not every person has got the same level of maturity to appreciate the depth of an answer, understand its limitations or ask the right questions
- Don’t rely on Google alone for important issues: Googling over important issues is doing you more harm than good. Instead, pick up a book on the topic by a credible author (the list of which, you guessed it right, can be found on google). Don’t form opinions easily. Create a habit of asking/ phrasing conflicting questions on google and read at least 10 links on each. This will help in the following ways:
- Open you up to different points of view
- Reduce the risk of you misinforming yourself
- Improve your questioning skills
PS: You can somewhat rely on Google for factual information. But for issue-based or confusing topics, take the information available on Google with a pinch of salt. It is better to consult experts or people who don’t have an ulterior motive or propaganda
3. Understand its limitation: Googling is fun alright. But realize that it can be misleading. Keep it for fun only and don’t form opinions so easily.
There is nothing wrong with Google, its just a side effect of democratization of information.
Google has certainly democratized the availability of useful information. But there is a fundamental flaw in this process. You get exactly what you asked for and this certainly hampers/influences your critical thinking badly
You get what you ask for!
As in life, you should not get what you ask for.
You should get the truth.
But do you get the truth easily?
That is exactly my point – you don’t get truth so easily.
You need hard work and bias-free attitude for that.
You need to dig deeper than just first 5 or 10 links on Google SERP to find it.