Not everyone has this “real-time” addiction.

Our generation does not have patience for anything. We want EVERYTHING done instantly, whether we are on the computer or out at a store. People can’t even spend the time to wait in a grocery line anymore. We now have the ability to scan our groceries with a little gadget while we are picking them out in the aisles. Have a stain on your shirt? Don’t worry about waiting to go home to wash it. Take out your Tide to Go pen and remove that stain right away! These are just two examples of the fast-paced direction we are moving in.

This post was sparked by a tweet I saw from Mashable which read “Google Instant Search Feeds our Real-time Addiction [CNN]” with the provided link to the article that Pete Cashmore wrote for CNN. The article discusses the new phenomenon that Google released this week called “Google Instant.” I began to see this new feature last night on my laptop while I was Googling away and to be honest, I am not a fan. For those of you who haven’t realized, when you now Google something, search results appear as soon as you begin typing. So literally every time you add letters or words, the search results change live right in front of you before you even finish what you are typing in the search box. What’s next? Is Google going to read my mind and I won’t even need to type in the search box?

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I am an avid user of social media and my addiction to the Internet/computer is abnormal compared to most people I know, but I just don’t like being classified as being part of a generation that needs everything in real-time. I can wait the extra 2-5 seconds to click “Google Search.” There is just too much going on now while I type on Google. Not only are suggestions still showing up below the search bar (which I have always been a fan of), but now the search results are changing every second or two. It is almost annoying because I find it distracting while I am trying to type. I find it amazing how far Google has come since my childhood, but honestly I find this feature unnecessary. I Google everything, and I have never thought of or even desired this instant result service.

Cashmore explains in the article why Google added this service. He talks about the increase of fast internet connections and the flow of information on the Web. People have become so used to the “real-time Web” by using social media that we have become conditioned to expect immediate access to all information and news. Social media also recommends content and delivers information to us without any searching involved, while users have to specifically search on Google. Google’s suggestions while you search is an attempt to resemble social media. Supposedly the search feature takes into account your search history, location, and other factors. It’s crazy to think how much social media is shaping the news and web.

According to Cashmore, “The only way the company can truly compete with social discovery is by going on step further. What if instead of guessing your intent while you search, Google could predict your needs before you search? That’s likely the next evolution…”

I am a 20 year-old student who doesn’t live under a rock, and I can tell you I don’t mind waiting in a grocery line once in a while or clicking a search button on Google. Do any of you agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Nick Schweers
Digital Media Chair