Before I turned fourteen in 2004, the year Google was first released to the public, I remember life being somewhat different. In the Pre-Google era, information wasn’t a “click away”– it was more like two-hundred clicks away and it usually ended with a disappointed search party. Searching for articles online wasn’t only difficult, but in most cases, impossible. America (and the rest of the world, for that matter) was still in its infancy stage of the internet. The advertisements were few and far between, wireless internet connections were still being validated, and search engines were lacking. And then Google came along.
With Google’s catchy name and easy-to-use database, it stands as what Peter Ornos claims as “the dominant force in what has turned out to be the central organizing principle of the internet’s impact on our lives” (‘What’s a Fair Share in the Age of Google?’). But because of it’s massive, successful growth over the past decade, magazines and newspapers are now threatened and in some cases on the verge of demise. It makes sense. Americans are so eager to remain up-to-date with the world that we’ve resorted to text-message notifications of discounts and specials for many restaurants and bars. It is because of this ‘need it now’ state of mind that Google prevails. If the same information found three blocks from my house at a newspaper stand (an entity that also seems to be diminished) can be found within thirty seconds of me opening my laptop, why would I stray from the computer?
Google’s popularity has spun it into an upward spiral of growth and expansion, one that will probably cause the demise of the Pre-Google era media. I mean, even as I read the article explaining this ‘demise’, I found myself highlighting words that I didn’t know, then pasting them in a Google search. How’s that for evidence?