How Google and YouTube replaced the Encyclopedias
What’s an encylcopedia?
Encyclopedia is a noun, meaning: a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or on many aspects of one subject and typically arranged alphabetically. This description “by the way” I found by just googling the word encyclopedia, something of which I wouldn’t have had the luxury of doing back before 1996. If you didn’t own a dictionary, which many people did, because having a dictionary was very much like having salt in your pantry. There were many analogies i could have used, really though, you don’t have salt? What kind of world do you live in!
Now first hand, I do know the struggles of panning through the index in an encyclopedia, and not finding what i was looking for, then having to pick my brain for another term or phrase that I could use, just so i can find page 376 and then proceed to read along pages of text with no images to find what I’m looking for. That! my dear was no picnic.
A few months back I decided to binge watch Buffy: The Vampire Slayer on Netflix, feeling a bit nostalgic, and wanted to revisit that age a bit. Watching how in every episode no matter what creature decided to pop it’s head in Sunnydale and reek havoc on this small town that just so happens to sit on a hell-hole crater, you find the Scooby Gang surrounded by mounds and mounds of books.
Granted you had Willow who was handy with a computer that probably ran Windows 95 on it. Which means not a lot was yet indexed into the World Wide Web yet. Not to mention December of ’95 Internet Explorer was just launched and Google search engines only became as good as they are today about maybe 10 – 12 years ago? So with that being said, growing up in the 90’s, and having to painstakingly thumb through every page to find what I was looking for so I can slap some cut out images on a poster board, along with proper historical caption, and pray i’d get a decent enough grade when i did my presentation. Ahhhh, those were the good old days, NOT!
I tell ya, I don’t know how many things I’ve googled in the past week alone just because the information is literally at the palm of my hand. You can ask google anything and you will get an abundance of information. Mind you, not all information is accurate, but with enough research you can then dictate what is accurate enough by how many of them give you the same result.
Ironically what I find most interesting of having this available technology at hand is, because it is so available I find myself not to retain such information unless I dug a little deeper into the matter. If someone asked me to google how many bones there are in the human body, I can easily look it up in a matter of seconds and tell them; however, ask me again in an hour, and i have already forgotten. Whereas perhaps diving into detail a bit more about the subject, it might be more encased in my brain, therefore I may retain it for future use. Problem with today is, the variety of information, the abundance of it via social media, leaves you like a squirrel trying to hide nuts and forgetting where you put them. That was according to Sarah Silverman, you can see how she explains that here, which i found quite funny. Although in recent discovery there is more to it than that. for squirrels i mean. If you’re curious about that i found neat article on phy.org of “Study uncovers surprising things about squirrels”.
Aaaaand i rest my case. Squirrel brain. OKAY! FOCUS!
As for that, Youtube is a huge contributor of this factor. Giving you maybe a little too much info in some cases. Youtube is filled with tons and tons of either really useful videos like this one:
or very useless videos like this one:
Again, these days most people still don’t find the time to learn how many bones the human body has or what their names are, well not enough time to let it sink in anyways. No time at all! There are just not enough hours in the day! Oh look a cute funny cat video:
In all sincerity, I do have to say that by using YouTube as a form of further education, I have successfully taught myself quite a few things. Things like, replacing iphone and ipad screens. Finding out why my Murano keeps making that grinding noise and how I can properly explain it to my mechanic in hopes that he doesn’t charge me too much for being a girl that knows nothing of cars (chicas you know how that is…but another topic for another day!). It’s insane the amount of information that is available to the public at your very fingertips! I personally feel like we live in a very Golden age, and don’t know what I would do without these informational videos!
You can easily find survival tips when your camping, what to do or not do when a bear comes your way, how to properly filter water so it is safe to drink in case of an emergency situation, where you can’t find a single Dunkin Donuts at every corner. Things from sewing, to changing a tire, starting your own business!, geez the list is kinda endless. YouTube is a tool of knowledge, boredom killer, and also used as a self promotional business booster, oh yes! also making some things go viral can be a bit of a buzkill, but hey! The good with the bad yea?
Anyway, to further conclude this blog, I leave you here with a question.
How much of YouTube do you think is informative and resourceful?