I had this sudden idea the other night while I was eating a steak dinner and watching some Frontline special about technology (settle down, boys, this girl’s taken) that it’d be an interesting, potentially time-saving experiment to see if I could keep myself from Wonder Killing for an entire week. For me, that means not Googling something the very second I have a question.
I thought I’d probably need to keep a diary of this time, both to keep my hands from Googling, and to write about whether or not it was difficult for me to stay away from Googling. Then I imagined the essay I might write after the experiment was over. There’d probably be this list of things I’d been wondering over the week. Important things, like, “What season did George Clooney join Facts of Life? or “How many cups in a liter?” or “Horse jokes dirty” or “Bare Necessities Promo Code.” Bloated by my Frontline-enhanced ego (it’s similar to when we all think we could just write for This American Life or when someone says, “You should do my life as a sitcom”), I pictured this essay would create an entertaining discussion of how many random questions float through our minds during the day that we perhaps used to use to engage in entertaining conversations, but instead now we answer things on our own, clicking into our private encyclopedias at the end of our fingertips.
I decided to try it. Right then. One week without Googling. If that worked well, perhaps one month! There’s a book idea! One month without Google. I’d be like a pioneer woman, constantly in the past, having to ask people what’s going on and why is this happening and seriously, what season did George Clooney join Facts of Life, and why am I the only person who remembers he was a dreamy doctor on a sitcom called E/R long before he played a dreamy doctor on a show called E.R.?
I would definitely have to stay away from car trips and dinner parties, where I’m pretty much always answering a question (usually one nobody really needed answered) via my iPhone. I would have to tell you guys at pamie.com: No wonder killing spoilers! Because that would be cheating. I thought about making a Twitter account I could use to write all the questions I couldn’t answer, just so you could follow my anxiety as I piled up unanswered wonders. Maybe all this pondering and questioning would lead to a breakthrough! Maybe I would solve something, cure something, develop a superbrain capable of remembering more than one phone number!
I was excited and nervous about giving it a try, which is why I thought it was probably a good idea. No more procrastinating deadlines getting lost in unnecessary research. No more solving other people’s Facebook wonders with immediate links to click. Just me in the here and now, pondering all old school style. Sitting around, wonderin’.
I’d decided I was definitely doing it just as I took my very last bite of the steak I was eating, and then I thought about how I wasn’t sure how many calories were in steak, so I googled “calories in steak” and then I realized I am my own problem.