Is Google Our Contemporary God?

Picture of By Asiah Capponi

By Asiah Capponi

Imagine talking to a friend, you are having a discussion about whether or not your best friend is in a toxic relationship, but it seems like you both can’t compromise. To prove your point, you take your smartphone and Google. Scrolling through the first couple of websites, you come across an article called ‘10 signs that your relationship is toxic’, your best friend is represented in at least seven of them. So, it must be true, she is indeed in a toxic relationship. After all, Google said it.

The Connection is Weak

Nowadays, we rely too much on what we can find on the Internet, most of the news and knowledge we have about the world comes from Google. We believe that every question we can think of can be answered if we simply look it up. And the best way to win an argument is to find proof to sustain your opinion online. Times had definitely changed from when people had to search encyclopedias for hours; now, all of the answers are just one click away. Isn’t that a little bit scary? All of this knowledge is so close to us, but still, sometimes it seems like we can’t quite connect to it, to the point where sometimes we are too lazy to even search for something online. We believe that the answers are all there, but it’s hard to take that final step, to type that question and read because often, we don’t really know what is that we are looking for. We don’t even know what it is that we want to ask. 

Technically, if Google has all of the answers, when we feel sad or happy, we should just Google it and, in a matter of seconds, find out the scientific reasons that perfectly explain our situation. In a way, we are more in contact with ourselves than we have ever been. However, something is still off. We think that when we meditate following a YouTube video or look for motivation scrolling through Instagram posts, we are having some alone time to truly connect with our deepest selves. We believe that we are taking care of our souls. Because we have been in need of this connection since the beginning of time. Our soul needs to be taken care of, and now online platforms, like Google or Social Media, are on the job.

When Social Media became Our Therapist 

Every day I wake up, and the very first thing I do is listen to a podcast. I especially like the ones embedded with motivational speeches, as after listening to these, all I want to do is go out there and conquer the world. For ten minutes, with a cup of coffee in my hand, staring outside of the window, my soul is full. Full of hopes, full of dreams, full of strength. However, when the voice stops and the episode is over, slowly, that feeling fades away. But still, every morning, I rely on a podcast to take care of my soul for ten minutes. 

We all rely on something, every day, every week, and we all hope that Social Media can give us what we desperately need: understanding. However, this is probably just a dream, because how can we feel understood by someone that is not in front of us, listening? Someone that is not talking to us personally, but to a wide and very general group of people. The truth is that when we watch a video or listen to a podcast, we feel like it’s talking to us personally. After all, we are all the main characters of our lives, so it’s normal to think that we are the ones who this is all for.

When in doubt…

We don’t need to go to therapy or church anymore; we already have ‘someone’ who gets us and gives us all of the answers, probably someone more powerful than every human being could ever be. We allow Google to give us the answers to our problems, and we rarely doubt it. Maybe doubt is what it’s all about because we always doubt others. It’s rare for people to have true and undoubted faith. Whatever you believe in, either it’s God, Allah, or simply fate, the point is that we all believe in something, but it’s hard to find someone with an unquestionable faith. As humans, doubts arise, and trust is not something we give out easily. Or at least, we have been having doubts about everything until now. 

Who is supposed to clarify our doubts if not Google itself?

We questioned the church and all of its beliefs, we questioned psychology, we questioned psychoanalysis, we questioned even science. The proof is right under our noses, but still, some have trouble believing. Nevertheless, this is important, doubting is necessary. If we all truly and completely believed in God since the beginning of times, progress wouldn’t have occurred as it did, technology and science would not be what they are today. Progress occurs when we begin to doubt. Every year, it becomes harder and harder to doubt because how can you doubt an entity that has no human representation? Even God put people in our world that were able to answer our questions, whether others decide to believe them or not, they are here, they are humans, just like everyone else. But since Google, everything has changed. Who is supposed to clarify our doubts if not Google itself? And how are we supposed to externalize our doubts to the entity that’s creating them in the first place? Isn’t that a bit of a paradox?

 …just Google it

When we need to ask questions about religion, we can talk to a priest, when we have questions about psychoanalysis, we can talk to a therapist, but when we have questions about Google, we talk to…well, Google. In a way, nowadays, Google has become a new God. After all, all of the answers are there, we just need to know what to look for. 

We let Google give us answers without really thinking that it could be completely wrong. We let it take care of our souls day after day after day.  We know it’s impartial because Google doesn’t have a soul. So, the million-dollar question is: how can we let ‘someone’ with no soul take care of our soul? 


Cover: Pixabay

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