How to Google and An Apology to the Baby Boomers
Dear Baby Boomers,
The problem with publishing articles (or news videos, check out my series, Status Update, available on this fine website) immediately after you create them is that sometimes you appear to be incredibly stupid. Tonight I had dinner with: a Baby Boomer, his son (Generation X,) and my best friend (another Millennial.) As we talked, I realized that my article Us Vs. Them1 was incredibly shortsighted. I had placed the blame of many of what I saw as societies’ problems on the shoulders of my parents. I was wrong to do so and I humbly apologize. My apology and my penance follow.
I talk to my mom on the phone almost every day. I asked her what she thought of my Us Vs. Them article. She told me that I missed something important. She told me that I didn’t say how her generation could be as fast as mine. It was then I realized my blame was misplaced. I wasn’t a potential voice of a generation as I hoped to be. I was a whiny teenager. I offered complaints, not solutions. Complaints are important, but without solutions they are meaningless. I realized that while they feel ahead in some ways, Baby Boomers also feel left behind.
So this is my penance. I now seek not to blame, but to educate. I seek to teach not only my generation, but also the others. I promise to begin to write articles on efficiency in the Internet age, targeted at Baby Boomers and up. I will make no promises of rate, I am busy, but I will seek to educate you as I seek to educate myself.
Here is my first efficiency article:
How To For Baby Boomers: Be More Efficient in the Internet Age
To start follow these steps:
1. Get a smart-phone, so you can Google2 at any time. If you cannot afford a smart-phone, get a computer. If you can afford neither, go to the library.
2. Make it a habit to use Google when you don’t know how to do something that you want to know how to do. Read googleguide.com if you are completely clueless as to the basics of using a search engine.3 However, you already know the basics. You learned them at the library. You learned them when you saw the index at the beginning of a book. You learn them every day when you have a conversation. Google is an easy language to learn.
Now that you how to use Google, and you know that you should use Google any time you want to know how to do something, there are three things you need to know when Googling something you don’t know.
1. It is possible to learn anything given enough time.4
2. Google is not instant. You may not learn everything you need to know in one visit. You will need to search well. Use meaningful keywords and don’t be afraid to venture to Page 2. You will also need to study your topic in order to learn it. Whether the topic is, ‘How to Eat a Chicken Wing in the Fastest Way Possible,’5 or ‘How to Win a Debate Vs. an Atheist,’6 it will take some amount of time. However, Googling IS much faster than any way you’ve learned before.
3. Don’t give up. This is the most important step.
You now have the world at your fingertips! It really is that easy. The only hard part is the commitment to being better at everything. Not being better right away, but eventually (you’ll even have to commit to being better at Googling.)
My generation, the Millenials, has used our enhanced ability to learn quickly to achieve amazing things. I know you know that, but you don’t always know what those things are. Here’s one: we have learned to communicate on a level that you have not. Many of us are learning that honesty and trust trumps politeness. Many of you were told that you should be seen and not heard. Many of you were told that you should be respectful and polite.
I say that you can be respectful without being overly polite (I may still be being an angsty teen here.) Over-the-top politeness takes time that I don’t have. If you want to get on my level, you need to stop being offended and tell me what is really bothering you. If you don’t tell me, then I don’t know, and I can’t possibly care. I think Bill O’Reilly is despicable, but I appreciate that he says what he thinks and does not apologize. I ask that you do the same.
My next letter will be to The Traditionals (your parents,) because while we have the skills, – and so can you! – they have the money and the power. I apologize for saying you let the pedophiles rule you. I stand by many of my points in Us. Vs. Them, but I apologize for that one. You didn’t let the pedophiles rule you, they always have. I would instead like to complain that you continue to do so.
I hesitate to use the word pedophile because it offends so many of you. Many of you will not share this article with your friends because you’re afraid that word will offend them. The difference between those of you who are afraid to offend, and me? I am not afraid. I will teach you what I think you should know, whether it offends you or not. I beg the same from you. Teach me everything you know. Tell me what you think of this article and my opinions. Do your best to offend me if you need to, but do honor me with your discourse. I promised to pair a solution with a complaint. My solution to not letting the pedophiles rule you is: stop letting them.
As I sat at that dinner table tonight, with three generations, I realized that no one group is to blame for our problems. We are all, however, responsible for solving them.
Foreverly angsty, but foreverly yours,
1 http://bryancain.net/2011/10/05/us-vs-them-and-the-dilemma-of-an-uprising/– as seen 10-14-11.
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Search – as seen 10-14-11.
3 http://www.googleguide.com/about/ – as seen 10-14-11.
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem – as seen 10-14-11.
5 http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/11/video-how-to-eat-a-chicken-wing.html – as seen 10-14-11.
6 http://carm.org/mistakes-christians-make-when-dialoguing-atheists – as seen 10-14-11.