Google is a formidable search engine that has stood the test of web time so far even though Bing from Microsoft has come out with their “Decision Engine”. As the writer/owner/tracker of thingsivenoticed.com, I have signed up for web analytics service that tells me how visitors to the site reach it. If they searched on Google and clicked on a search result link to my blog, I see exactly what they typed in for search, (but I don’t know who the person is). What I see is usually normal, sometimes weird, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes sad. People search in Google with questions basically asking Google to solve their problems. I’ve seen searches like, “why does he hate me?”, and “is it ok to wear the same clothes every day?”. People who get to “Things I’ve Noticed” via those sites need to realize that the internet will not solve all of your life’s problems, (and neither will Sudoku). I doubt that Bing can make decisions for you either. You might get lucky and get to see a link where people write about experiences with solutions to similar problems on a site bulletin board, but vague general problems mean nothing to Google or any other search engine for that matter. Yahoo Answers has a better approach, but people vote on the best answer and it may not be right or helpful.
These search sites do their thing through impersonal mega-algorithms and they care nothing for you. They haven’t spent any time in a human body and don’t have personality. Talking to people probably helps the most. In some cases, Google comes through with information that may help you make a decision, but that’s often just luck. I suppose one has little to invest in searching for, “where should I sit on a bus?”, so it’s worth a shot. But instead of getting answers, they end up landing on sites, (like mine), that exist to make you think and for entertainment. One other aspect of relying on search for solutions to life is that the websites that come up in the search results often have conflicting information or answers. What to do then? Information overload can be confusing and stressful.
Perhaps it’s just a sign of modern times. We use the internet to pay bills, make reservations, and even to maintain and establish friendships. Why not use it to solve problems in life? It seems to make sense, but computers aren’t good at figuring out humans and the sites can’t take the place of a friend or psychiatrist. Or perhaps nothing can take the place of you. Eventually you may be able to figure out how to handle your problems yourself.