433336499_6dbedef371Google recently launched its “Instant Search” — a technological program which allows Internet users to type only the first few letters of a word before Google suggests search results. For example, if one types the letters V-A-N into Google’s search engine, it would suggest results ranging any where from Vanderbilt to Van der Sloot to Vanguard. For the millions of people who are busy and need to find information quickly, the new Instant Search can make information gathering and research much easier.

Google stated that this new way of generating Internet search results can save users two to five seconds per search, which can really add up. But, is all of the speed that accompanies this new bit of technology good?

If people do not have to spell out an entire word in order to complete a search, what will be the ultimate, long-term effect on communication skills? We already live in a world of “lol,” “ttyl,” and “j/k.” I do not believe we need another excuse for not using the English language.

For example, just imagine some of the communications skills of teenagers today (and some adults for that matter). When you speak to a teen and every other phrase is “like” or “um” or “ya know,” then I believe there is problem. Or, some teenagers can barely write coherent sentences because they are used to abbreviating everything in their communication with others.

We live in a society where quicker tends to be better. I admire the technological advance that Google has created, but one must consider its possible long-term effects on society: lack of adequate communication skills. Today it’s “Google Instant search.” Tomorrow it will be “Google psychic” where you just have to think about a search and the results will appear. Just imagine what the future holds!

BFN (Bye for now)

— Yoshana B. Jones

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