There is no shame in Googling

Nathan Baker • Jan 12, 2020 at 12:00 AM

On a recent drive home after a flight into the Charlotte airport, my car’s radio landed on a couple of afternoon DJs talking about one of those generational trends stories.

Apparently, according to the inane radio personalities, Millennials, Zoomers, or whomever counts as “whippersnappers” these days just can’t fix things. They were discussing a highly scientific survey — I traced it to BigRentz.com — that claimed many adults these days say they are unable to repair common household problems without first Googling for instructions.

Out of the 1,000 survey respondents — which was ironically conducted using Google Surveys — 43% said they could unclog a drain without searching online, 25% said they could install a drywall anchor, 39% said they could stop a running toilet and 38% could find a wall stud.

The totally credible article announcing the survey results suggested the data added to mounting evidence that today’s tech-obsessed young people can’t hack it in the real world like dear ol’ dad could.


Dads and all older mentors can be excellent teachers, but they weren’t born with knowledge. They had to learn things, too.

My dad had a Haynes repair manual for his pickup, the YouTube instructional of old. In it were step-by-step instructions for repairing common problems accompanied by photos of the parts and processes.

Just because technology has changed, it doesn’t mean people are less handy. Some people learn by reading directions. Visual learners benefit from watching a video of someone performing a repair.

If anything, the internet has allowed us to be more capable more quickly.

If I need to replace a tie rod end on a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, I can find a YouTube video showing me how it’s done. I can also join a forum for Jeep owners and enthusiasts on which I can ask questions of anyone anywhere in the world and communicate with others who have also replaced their tie rod ends.

I can find gardening advice from experienced growers and check the best dates for my zone telling me when to plant what.

There is no shame in Googling. Relying on the vast repository of online knowledge does not make you a failure, it makes you thorough and modern.

Troglodytes who claim superiority because they ignore available internet resources are limiting their abilities.

The true DIY spirit is about learning new things. Don’t put yourself in the dunce’s corner.

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