Why Search Engines are Saving Us (and Tearing Us Apart)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2006 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I don’t just write on this blog for you. I also read blogs of others. The links on the right are only for people we know (and who will admit to the entire InterWeb that not only do they know us, but they actually let us consider them our friends). I also read blogs of people I’ve never met in real life and of whom most people have never heard, but who are, in their own right, Blogebrities.

Why don’t I put up their links over there on the right? Why don’t I let the whole entire Interweb know that I admire this other writing and the lives of people I have never/may never meet?

1. They are much better at the writing and the funny and if I told you about them, who would ever bother to come over here and read my drivel anymore? (Ahem. That’s the part where you say, “I would still read you, even if I realized how terrible your writing is and you told me where to find all of those fabulous blogs” and then you snicker and you hope that it did not find it’s way from your fingers to your keyboard, since snickering is mostly about guttural noises in your throat).

2. Sometimes they swear. Sometimes they talk about inappropriate things. Most days they are hilarious. And by exposing you to all of these things that I find entertaining, I may be corrupting your image of me or, worse yet, I may actually corrupt you. And then what? Then you will be in a fight with some loved one who wants to pull you back from the dark side and you will give in and breakdown weeping and say that you would never have gone down this terrible road if it had not been for those links you clicked on over at TamariskTree. You would tell them how I was the cigarette that led you to heroin. Kim = Gateway Drug. And then your interventionist will have to call me and ream me out for my unwholesome, un-kid-friendly, PG-13 links. And then you’ll start a crusade against this blog and eventually blogger will be forced to kick me out and the news will spread to all of the other blog sites and I will get blog doors slammed in my face and I will wind up on angelfire with the worst looking page imaginable. And I will cry.

One of the blogs I read daily is written by a woman in DC whose content got stolen by some terrible myspace freak named “Claudia” in Las Vegas. She was passing off the content as her own…or trying to at least, until the blogging community caught wind of it and essentially terrorized her into making her plagiarized space private. But how would one of her readers have found out that crazy Claudia existed without google? How would they have known there was something to rant about and then go find her and threaten her had their not been a search engine like that? In this way, I embrace the engines, oiled and hot and revving – ready to totally take yahoo off the line.

And then there is the danger (and here I could go in a number of directions, but I will solely take the following path). Say you have a friend from kindergarten with whom you’ve lost touch that you’ve always wondered about, or a relative whose life is a mystery to you or a coworker who you believe is a bit off and the curiosity just gets the better of you and then you search for them. Oh, the things you could find. You could find their nasty journal of nastiness or their hearts and stars and rainbows blinking at you from the screen so wildly that you immediately have a seizure, or you may find nothing. Not.one.thing, which is so much better than the first option. That is what I found today…number one. Twisted information about a group of people I didn’t need to know. But like the train wreck and the car accident and the Treadwell guy and now Steve Erwin, I couldn’t help but want to see it. The sick part that wants to listen to a man getting mauled by a bear, that hears the description of a man pulling a stinger from out of his body and thinks “I wonder if somebody’s added that to youtube already?”. This part of me has a home on search engines and for that, I am torn apart.

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