Give Me Some Unanswered Questions

I don’t remember when I started using the verb Google to mean “get an answer”. I’m sure I used it first in jest but somewhere along the way it just became part of my vocabulary. My friend Melanie and I were chatting this morning about this need we have to get instantaneous answers, goods and results. I wonder what this is doing to us.

  • Hey Siri, what time is it?
  • Why are people so mean?
  • Did our ancestors eat more meat or vegetables?

I used to think it was so cool to call Time and Temperature to get the time and temperature. That was the only quick resource we had. And now I even wonder why we needed the time. Melanie reminded me that back then our clocks might lose time and we wouldn’t know it. There was no iPhone or computer to check our time against. Clocks weren’t automatically synchronized with the world clock. If the clock stopped working or slowed down, we had to make a phone call and reset it. We could also call information to get phone numbers. Now we just google them.

  • What is the average lifespan of a border collie?
  • How much does it usually rain in Michigan?
  • Is basement waterproofing worth the investment?

In Seattle in 1998, I discovered the internet. I had dial up so it was excruciatingly slow. And back then the websites that existed were horrible. Most of my friends didn’t trust it. They pledged never to buy anything off the internet. It was too unsafe and too dangerous.

  • When was the internet invented?
  • Why do cats get hairballs?
  • What makes curly hair curl?

I traveled a lot with my job and I discovered a web-based grocery service. It wasn’t like today’s delivery services. It was a real grocery in a warehouse, and I could order my groceries on Sunday night before I left town and schedule them to be delivered when I woke up Saturday morning. They would always give me a little gift like a flower or a sample of something, and the groceries arrived in a lovely brown paper bag at my front door. I’ve never been so enthralled by a service. Unfortunately that model didn’t last. Sometimes I fantasize about walking to my door and finding my lovely little grocery sack, and other times I engage Google to see if someone else has started one like it. But, alas, today everything is about speed and not good service.

  • Whatever happened to online grocery stores?
  • Why did Blackberry go out of business?
  • How many lakes are in Michigan?

I got my first Blackberry while I was in Memphis. I loved being able to surf the internet and check my emails from work. People used to call them Crackberries because they were so addictive. That’s laughable now because they were nowhere near as addictive as the smartphones of today. Ashok ate my beautiful brand new cherry red Blackberry, and I went in search of a cheap used phone as a punishment phone. The minute I opened my iPhone I knew I’d never go back to a Blackberry again. It was an immediate and steadfast love.

  • How old is Kevin Costner?
  • Is dark chocolate really healthy?
  • Can a repulsion for white male politicians kill a heterosexual woman’s sex drive?

My job in Learning and Development is truly dependent on technology. Digital is literally the fabric of my life. It’s how I find answers, communicate with others, schedule and order my day and teach. I have to search my memory to remember what it was like to not have instantaneous answers to stupid and thought-provoking questions. In my efforts to stop using my phone so much, I often catch myself thinking a thought and immediately reaching for my phone to google feedback to my passing thought. I stop myself and say “you don’t have to know the answer to everything.” The void hurts.

  • Is Kenny Chesney gay?
  • Are Persian rugs worth the investment?
  • What would happen if you never cut your toenails?

What was it like to think a thought or wonder about something and NOT have immediate feedback. I think maybe it created more mystery. It was probably much less stressful to not know everything the minute it happens. It was definitely easier to be an expert as you explored the unknown in real life experiments that other people didn’t have time nor the interest to do. And if it wasn’t truly important, we probably just let it go unanswered. I don’t want to go back to long ass telephone cords that wrapped around the furniture or to typing essays on a typewriter. But I might like to have that sweet little grocery service, be unreachable when I’m not at home and to not have the answers to all the questions my mind brings up. It might even be nice to be in the dark about the time and temperature and just let the day go by as it will.

What is the population of New Orleans?

  • Are down coats humane?
  • Does God still love us?
  • Hey Siri, can we go back in time?

What would you like to go back to if you could? What questions do you wish went unanswered?

7 Comments on “Give Me Some Unanswered Questions

  1. Sharon, I couldn’t stop laughing at this blog.
    Can a repulsion for white male politicians kill a heterosexual woman’s sex drive? OMG! If instant nausea does that then absolutely!
    As a senior citizen I am very happy with instant answers to my questions as if I have to ponder them too long I might forget what the question was to begin with!
    I have been watching Call the Midwife and have decided that my ideal man is Matthew Aylward, played by an actor Olly Rix..if you don’t know who he is google him and he’s sure to set you on fire!
    Happy dreams,
    Cheryl Luedtke

      • I could relate to this! I love to learn, and I think the digital landscape has made it easier, but also adaptable. but the extra little touches of times passed…I miss those too! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. “Grandma, how do I make your corn casserole?” I miss calling a friend or family member for an answer. Always led to great discussions and lots of laughter. Often forgetting the question and/or the answer. Resulting in another phone call.

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