I went to school back in the olden days: Television was already in color but there was no Internet yet. It’s hard to imagine, even when you witnessed it first hand. Writing papers without Google meant going to the library with pockets full of change to make copies of actual pages that were then highlighted and used for creative doodles.
With the advent of the Internet everything changed and I admit, I do not really remember the last time I went to the library and borrowed a book for research. Nowadays everything I ever wanted to know is just a few clicks away.
Don’t get me wrong and the fact that I have an E-reader fool you: I love books. Nothing beats their smell and it will always look more sophisticated to have ten books on a desk than ten open tabs on a screen. Bookstores are some of my favorite places and I could spend hours in there. However, if I want to research efficiently I use the Internet. I have access to information from all over the world, I never have to worry about late fees or that someone else has the book I need and I can use all my change for the Laundromat. It is not only convenient because I can copy, paste, cite correctly and hit print; I can search an endless document for a certain word and I can do all that any time and while eating or listening to really loud music.
When it comes to studying, books have become almost obsolete and sometimes I am afraid I will stop depending on them. I still buy and keep my textbooks if I know that I will use them later on but I often catch myself researching online first without even looking at the bookshelf.
The Internet makes researching and learning so convenient. I love that I can learn so much random stuff in no time. I cannot only find everything I need for my papers, I can also learn how to make a soufflé, what the 74th biggest island in the world is or what jellyfish eat – while I am stuck in traffic, waiting for my root canal treatment or when I am supposed to do homework.
How did we look up these random facts before we had Google? We found the information eventually; it just took a bit longer but was probably more rewarding.
I sometimes wonder if we are smarter now or if we just have better access to information. In theory, we never have to remember anything anymore; we can just look it up. Are we part of a generation that seems to be more about accessing than retaining information? Only time will tell; or a Google search.
I am glad I learned it the old fashioned way. It makes me appreciate the advantages of the Internet so much more. Now I sound old, don’t I?
Isabelle Mitchell is from Switzerland (not Sweden). She loves coffee and chocolate and she can talk about movies and the weather for a very long time. Isabelle went to Film School in Denmark and Canada and is a Sound Designer, but she’s currently working on getting her BS in Advertising at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (Online Division). She’s planning on slowly taking over the advertising world one tagline at a time. When she’s not doing homework or studying, she works as a Marketing Assistant. You can find her on Twitter @isabellesagt or if you have a longer attention span, her blog.