It started as an early morning tweet. I cast into the twitterverse: When was the last time you went through a day without using the word google? Then I thought, why not try a google-free day? Not only would I not say "google," I would not indulge in the act itself. There was something about being so dependent on this gaping maw of information that annoyed me. There was also a whiff of a retaliating child threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue. I would only be hurting myself.
I use g****e all day long and far into the night. Why I did not invest in it when it went public I will never know. Please don't tell me what a thousand dollar investment X numbers of years ago would be worth today. I could g****e and find out. I would do it right now except I'm having a Google-free Day. Wait, when do I capitalize g-word and when don't I? Bet I could g****e that. No, no. Not going to worry about it. Leave it to the grammar police.
6:10 a.m. Other rules I invent: "Google-free" is one word and okay to use. If I don't actually go to the g****e search bar, I'm clean. Though I am using the word g****e to write this, I'm not spelling it out. Still clean.
6:15 a.m. I realize I haven't checked my website's G****e Analytics for the preceding day. It's fascinating to see someone in Sofia, Bulgaria spent 9:51 minutes on my site and viewed 16 pages. Who is this person? And where the heck is Mauritius? (In the Indian Ocean way, way off the coast of Africa). Discovering which search terms users have entered to find my site is mesmerizing. "Can I marry my mother?" is my favorite. After checking my GAs, conclude the Google-Free Day starts now.
6:28 a.m. Busted! I googled "Triad top bloggers" without even realizing I was doing it! Okay. I'm allowed one Official Slip.
6:31 a.m. Needed to be sure of Bin 33's zip code while posting the Bookup (a community event I concocted to promote reading books) on a site's event calendar. Went through Facebook. Would have been easier to g-word.
7:42 a.m. Leaving house to take nephew to DMV. I g*****d the address of the closest office a couple of days ago. Phew.
7:52 a.m. Teenage nephew gets in car with Xerox copies of official documents he needs. I am certain they need to be originals. "My dad gave these to me," he says. "I think they're okay." I ask, "Did he goo - - look it up on the site?" He shrugs and utters a monosyllabic response. I'm tempted to whip out my smartphone and check it myself. I tell him I can't because I'm having a Google-free Day. I explain what that means. He says, "Why don't you just use another search engine like Gaggle?" There's a Gaggle? I think he's joking. He swears he isn't. I applaud the person who grabbed Gaggle knowing how many people would misspell G-word. I am so wanting to G-word Gaggle. The frustration passes.
8:10 a.m. It returns when we find out that he needs the original documents or certified copies. They cannot be found until his father gets home from work later.
9 a.m. Nephew and I strategically place a few flyers for the Bookup around the UNCG campus. College kids are very good at creating buzz. I had already g*****d the campus map and printed it out the day before. Had I not, we would be roaming around aimlessly, my nephew quickly becoming a pain in the "this is too much work" neck. I would have agreed.
9:52 a.m. Nephew and I discuss if using the fruits of a previous g****e on a Google-free Day is cheating. "No," I say. "Nor would carrying around cigarettes on a Smoke-free Day qualify as such." "But only if you don't smoke them," he points out. "You're using what you googled." I tell him he should consider a future as a lawyer.
1:31 p.m. Have managed to stay off computer this long. Now the real test.
1:38 p.m. Almost messed up! Needed to know how to spell Maggie Gyllenhaal's last name while posting on FB about "Hysteria the Movie." Went to FB page for it and found it.
1:47 p.m. BUSTED. Searched "Triad Stage" to get details on the Monti April 14th. Realized my error the moment I hit Enter. Okay. I'm back on my toes now. They won't get me again. Time to work on my latest book anyway.
4:24 p.m. Wondering about my nephew's comment about using another search engine. Is it really the g-word that bothers me or my dependency/love of search engines. And what's so wrong about it? Because this is how addicts talk. Hey, I only do crack after a good square meal! I'm fine.
5:16 p.m. Trying to remember what Nora Ephron said about g***ling in her book I Remember Nothing. I believe she called it "the new senior moment." When you forget something, you say "let me _____ it." I could do a search for the exact words. Why do I need to be so precise? Wow! Maybe that's the best part of a G-free Day. I can be a little sloppy, less of a perfectionist. Yes, this is a good, character-building endeavor.
7:10 p.m. Arrive at my monthly Bunco game. I say "g****e" while talking about my GFD. Create new rule. I'm allowed one slip when I've consumed an alcoholic beverage. The topic of various games the other women play comes up during the second round. I have never heard of Tripoli, Five Crowns, Apples to Apples, Cranium, Buzzwords and Farkal. Not sure if that's how Farkal is spelled because I'm still Google-free. Not sure I will ever play these games but know that if I wanted to where I can find every last detail on them. Just not today.
9:12 p.m. I'm at the post office ready to mail a birthday greetings card and iTunes gift card to a 12 year-old girl I love. Must get in the mail now so it arrives by her birthday. Suddenly not sure I have the right house number. I call her mother. No answer. A neighbor. No answer. I text them. No replies. I call the girl on her cell. No answer. I finally text her asking if I have her right address. Kids will always respond to a text. She instantly texts back "Who is this?"
I realize this girl I love does not have me in her Contacts! She has no idea who is asking her this extremely personal question. I text her it's me. She texts back "I think you have the wrong number." I'm very happy she's so well-trained to not give out something like this unless she's sure who it is but now I have to go on the net and you-know-what her mother's name and as much of her address that I'm sure of to get the whole address. So I googled. And I was right all along. Maybe what's really nagging me about all this net searching is I'm afraid I'll stop remembering anything.
My transgression was worth it. A 12 year-old will be happy. And as long as she thinks I rate high enough to put me in her Contacts, I'll be happy, too.
Causes Jo Maeder Supports