I received an email today requesting some information on time differences between the different countries our MBA operates in, to which my reaction was ‘couldn’t Google answer this question?’
After reflecting about this, I started to think about how we go about getting information these days and the effect this has on our interactions with one another.
What a search engine can offer us is a quick and easy way of finding out information especially in an office environment where a PC is within arm’s reach of us all. However, what it doesn’t offer is the ability to interact with one another and share knowledge and experiences that the internet simply can’t offer us. Asking questions in a Social Networking environment might go some way to fill this gap but does it help us to build relationships with our customers and colleagues in quite the same way?
Speaking about this with a colleague today she commented that a trend for wearing t-shirts with the phrase ‘Don’t ask me – just Google’ had been followed by a further trend for wearing t-shirts with the phrase ‘Ask me – Don’t Google’, obviously others have thought about this too.
I suspect that nothing replaces a quick exchange of words with a colleague or customer to find out information. It helps to build professional relationships with one another and the information you get from a colleague is likely to be far richer and interesting that a response from a search engine. Of course time restraints means that we don’t always have the time to do this, but in the future, I’m going to think about if a colleague can offer a far more interesting response to a question than a search engine!