Googling Things vs. the Spirit of Discovery

“Something something Creek Trail.”

Apparently this had been sitting just a ways behind my neighborhood for ages. I stumbled across it today in the course of a slow morning walk. And I immediately wanted to know how long it was. I like long trails, and I like to wonder how far I can travel on them.

I could have probably found out in seconds on my phone. The answer was just a Google away. But I held myself back.

Google is a wonderful thing. Often it aids in discovery. But sometimes easy information access is a roadblock to building a habit of discovery. There’s no need to “find out” if you can just “look up”. First-hand and second-hand information may be the same in content, but the means of getting the information has value as well. And in this circumstance in particular it would be a sad cop-out to cut my walk short by just Googling the length of the trail.

I walked a ways further and took in the newness of this neat “bonus” trail that just made my neighborhood a little cooler. And for today, I let the mystery be.

I will find out how far this trail goes, but I’ll do it for myself. Soon enough I’ll be climbing on my road bike and making my own investigation of the matter.

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Intellectual Credit: There was an article I read years ago about the loss of wonder that comes with being able to just Google things to settle questions, so that came into play in this piece.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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