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Friday, February 7, 2014

When should I ask people, and when should I Google?

I love the Internet. LOVE it. It makes life in general so much easier and cuts down on anxiety because you can pretty much always find out the answers to your questions really quickly.

But there are multiple different ways to use the Internet, and some of them are right and some of them are wrong. Very, very, VERY wrong.

One of the ways to go wrong is by asking questions on social media that really ought to have been asked on Google instead. To help us all avoid falling into such traps in the future, here are some common situations where you should definitely choose Google over social media to get the answer to your questions:

If you have a personal medical issue

I recently had a minor medical procedure performed, and after that medical procedure, I had a bizarre side effect that wasn't listed on the care sheet the doctor gave me. So I Googled that side effect and found that it is completely normal and nothing to worry about. I went on about my day.

Notice how I've given you no details about either the medical procedure or the side effect? That was on purpose. You want to know about as badly as I want to tell you, which is not at all.

You don't need to crowd-source answers to your gross medical issue. Google is anonymous. Use it.

Derrrr ... what?

Apparently it is. Haha gross. 


If you have a simple factual question

Want to know the final score of the Superbowl? (Seattle KICKED ASS -- that's the only score you need to know!). Well, clearly you're going to need to type the phrase "what was the final score of the Superbowl?" somewhere. If you type it into Google, you will get your answer immediately. If you type it into your Facebook status box, you will get your answer eventually while also getting a bunch of sass and annoying the hell out of your friends.

And if you need to sass someone for asking a dumbass question like this on Facebook, may I suggest Let Me Google That For You? Here's the link that Alma Pie shared with her friend. It's a great way to make someone feel like the moron that they are: derrr How do I Google Easter?

If you have a high-level question your friends couldn't possibly know the answer to

I don't care how smart your friends are -- they don't know everything about everything. If there's something really specific wrong with your car but they are not mechanics, they probably can't help you. If you're having a legal issue and none of them are lawyers, they probably can't help you. They especially probably don't know much about medical stuff, unless many of them are doctors. And yes, this crosses over into the same territory covered by part 1. I do not care. 

Google is going to know a lot more on many subjects than your friends could possibly hope to. There are people out there who have taken the time to compile lots and lots of concise information on very specific topics, and you can share in this information merely by typing your query into the Google search bar. Amazing!!!

Though in this case, asking your 'friends' might be the right call after all.

I remember one time a few years ago, a girl emailed our running club listserv to ask a question about a bad drug reaction she was having. In addition to many responses of "we have no idea go ask your doctor you moron," one person also chimed in with "go to walgreens and they will give you a pap smear." 

Walgreens. A pap smear. For knee pain.

Just get comfortable and we'll be riiiiight with you.

I spent the next three weeks laughing at this brilliant response, which this chick clearly deserved.

If you ask your friends a question that they couldn't possibly be equipped to answer, they will probably make you feel like a dipshit for asking. Because you are a dipshit for asking.

Now, of course, there are times when it makes perfect sense to pose your question on social media. If you're trying to crowdsource a good recipe and want opinions from people you trust; if you're looking for personal anecdotes to help you get through a tough situation; if you need recommendations on products that you know your friends have tried -- these are all perfectly appropriate times to ask your friends for help!

But if you just tried a new energy drink and now there's blood shooting out of your asshole, do not ask about it on Facebook. Dear god, please, please don't.

And if you want to read some HILARIOUS instances of people accidentally updating their Facebook status instead of doing a Google search, please enjoy this collection from Happy Place:

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