September 21, 2018

The Writer's Google Search History

The Internet has made research so much easier.

When I was a kid, I remember trudging down to the library (don't get me wrong, I love the library) every time I had a research paper. Instead of poring through the countless books in the fiction section, I would gingerly carry the heavy tomes from non-fiction back to my table. I would painstakingly write notes, include the information I would need for the bibliography, or carefully select the pages I had to photocopy at the cost of ten cents per page.

If I was lucky, I found the information I needed at the local library. If I wasn't—I spent many of my formative years in small towns—then my amazing parents would drive me to the next closest library—a two hour plus drive away.

Today, through the advent of the world wide web, I have access to an enormous amount of data. This excess is not without problems of its own. Too much information means difficulty in... narrowing searches; discerning reliable sources; and avoiding distractions.

The Internet, and namely social media, is a major distraction. Have you ever picked up your phone or logged into your computer to check email and...

Raise your hand. Be honest.

I often put my phone out of arm's reach in order to get any decent writing done. Sometimes, I even turn the wifi off on my laptop. Too much information. Unless you manage your notifications. And, even then, my devices always seem to be ping-ing about something.

But I need the Internet. I use it for research. How else would I know how long it takes to drive from Evanston to Chicago or what a group of vampires is called? Seriously. You would probably be surprised (or perhaps not) at the things I google.

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