This may make you smile.
Just now I wanted to write about a particular sixties pop song, so I typed ‘Do you know the way to San Jose’ into Google.
Lo and behold, just under the entry for Dionne Warwick’s 1968 hit, Google gave me driving instructions from where I am to, yes, San Jose.
Just head south on US-101 and it’ll take me 33 minutes to cover the 24.2 miles, apparently.
These days, of course, it’s easy to believe that it doesn’t really matter that you don’t know something.
It’s alright, Google will tell you.
And I have to admit that my neighbours down in Mountain View, which I’d pass on my way to San Jose, have built an extraordinarily clever search engine.
The thing is, though, it can actually be rewarding to admit now and then that – no – you don’t know something, but that you’ll ask someone who does.
In many ways we’ve become a society of know-it-alls, or at least Google-it-alls, to the extent that we forget how warming it can be to learn from another real-live person rather than from a web server, albeit a staggeringly ingenious one.
Really, you’re not expected to know everything. In fact, pretending that you do can be stressful and a bit isolating.
Some of my cleverest friends are the best at confessing their total ignorance on some subjects. They listen with genuine interest if I put them in the picture. At least, I think it’s genuine interest.
Even if they’re very slightly feigning their lack of knowledge, though, an exchange such as this can be a whole lot more rewarding than tapping a few keys on your computer.