I love Google. No, really. As a librarian I know I'm supposed to come out and say, "Books are better" and "You can't trust the internet as a reliable source of information" and all that. And I do say that. If I were assigned a research paper right now, I would try to not use a search engine and would try to avoid listing a single web page as a work cited. I would do what I tell my students to do: use reference books, nonfiction books, and electronic databases that search and retrieve peer-reviewed journal articles. But if there's something I gotta know, and I gotta know it fast, I must tell you: I use The Googles.
If someone stops in front of my desk and asks, "Who won the 1984 NCAA men's basketball tournament?" I am going to Google it and in a few seconds I am going to have an answer. (Try it and see for yourself--first person to respond in the comments section wins something from my house that I want to get rid of!) Could I also find that information in a helpful little reference book like the World Almanac and Book of Facts? Yes. Would it have been as quick? Probably not.
I discourage students from using Google sometimes because they aren't always good searchers . I try to help them be smarter internet researchers, but the "Ask Jeeves" set doesn't always grasp the concept of keywords and limiters. But I, you see, am a trained professional. I can Google with the best of 'em. And the more complicated the request, the more fun I have trying to track it down online. Need statistics on drunk driving fatalities in the state of Kentucky, and have looked in a couple of books but can't find it? Bring it on. Want to know the name of an obscure comedian who performed on a Rodney Dangerfield Young Comedians' Special in the 80s and did a sketch portraying a not-so-bright football player? Gotcha covered.
I love Googling so much and have gotten so many answers that way that I wish I could Google all the really tough questions in my life. Such as, where the hell did I leave my watch? How did I get that bruise on my leg? What was the third thing I needed from the store, now that I'm in here and standing in line with two things in my basket knowing as sure as the world that there were three things I came after?
I really wish there was a "magic" Google that I could use to get the answers to all my deeper life questions. Until then, I will continue to amuse myself Googling the everyday questions I get.
And if you happen to find my watch, do let me know.