What I don’t understand, truly, what actually enrages me when I think about it, is the fact that people still ask questions out loud and expect that someone else will answer them. Why do they not use google? I think about a million times a day. I am baffled by this and continue to figuratively shake my head (and literally get angry) every single time I see someone post something online, who then gets a comment like, What is <topic, object, etc.>? LOOK IT UP FOR FUCK’S SAKE!
I honestly don’t get it. I am pretty much someone who spent her childhood waiting for the internet to be invented. Sometimes as a kid, I would come to my mother with a word in a book that I didn’t know, and she would say to me, Look it up! Which was, I guess, a way to teach me to use the dictionary, but was, in fact, a total drag because it meant going to the dictionary and flipping through the pages and, really, I just wanted an answer right now! I didn’t want to stop reading. I wanted an answer quickly so I could get back to my book. Do I remember the words I learned by looking them up in the dictionary? No. But how vividly I remember that frustration of wasting time to get what should have been a quick answer.
Just today I overheard someone ask my 70-something coworker (a retired newspaperman) why the word “lede” in “burying the lede” is spelled that way, which immediately interested me, but when I could not clearly make out the mumblings from behind me, I simply looked it up on google! I mean, it’s not like he was sharing a newspaperman story from his past (that I would have listened to as he was working in Washington during the Watergate era), but just a simple fact that anyone could look up. Anyone. You don’t need to turn to an expert on newspaper facts anymore. You could find the answer yourself! (“Spelling the word as lede helped copyeditors, typesetters, and others in the business distinguish it from its homograph lead, which also happened to refer to the thin strip of metal separating lines of type (as in a Linotype machine). Since both uses were likely to come up frequently in a newspaper office, there was a benefit to spelling the two words distinctly.”) (You’re welcome.)
I get that people are lazy. I get that maybe they just want someone to tell them that one simple thing instead of finding themselves spending hours down google rabbit holes after looking up one simple phrase (“why burying the lede not lead?”). I even get that sometimes people would rather engage others in conversation instead of spending their time alone with their computer. I do get this. And I like stories just as much as the next person (in truth, probably more). But when one simple google search would satisfy a person’s curiosity, I just have no idea why they can’t just do that.
Googling this very question turned up an article that asks the question that I’m asking and basically comes to the same conclusion: people are lazy (also, a lot of people don’t know who Arcade Fire is, which I find forgiveable). But it’s one thing to be lazy (I can’t put this book down to look something up in another book), and yet it’s another to be publicly lazy. Seriously, everyone who is reading this: the next time you are about to publicly ask someone a question about something, ask yourself, Could I actually find the answer in like two seconds myself? If the answer is yes, well, you know what to do. I am obviously never going to say, “Wait, let’s just not look this up. Let’s just not know!” I want to know everything. All the time. Everything. I wish everyone did too.