It’s no secret that I love the nearly infinite volume of knowledge accessible via the Internet. I pride myself on being the go-to researcher for my family, even called on to find directions for certain people who are lost and unable to use their phones while driving. You know who you are!
Rather than being a burden, my status as research maven delights me. In the past month I have located a source for replacement shutter staples, information on eco-friendly flooring, proper pie-cutting etiquette, and the song Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens from the Jameson Whiskey commercial. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyknBTm_YyM&noredirect=1
I used to hate researching things for school because it was so tedious, but Internet research is as easy as it is entertaining. However, relying exclusively on the Internet for one's information has its down side.
Back in pre-Internet days, if I needed to know certain things I would simply call a friend or family member. I have several friends to whom I would turn for recipe suggestions or cooking advice. I could call my boys or my dad for a question involving the hard sciences. My mom’s area of expertise is as a sounding board for my latest “rant.” My ex-husband is a trusted resource for questions about politics and general current events.
The other day, I was wondering how best to cook some vegetables for a recipe and my first impulse was to look online. As I walked over to the computer, it hit me that I was missing out on an opportunity to connect with someone at a time in our lives when busy schedules make connecting a luxury. Calling a friend could take a little longer, or I might risk catching them at a bad time, but I felt it was a risk worth taking.
If we rely on the computer for everything, the unintended consequence can be isolation from the rest of the world. Now, if a question occurs to me at 3 in the morning, using the Internet is well advised, but during normal business hours, if I need to know which blade to use on the sawzall, I will call a friend first, and surf second.