Written by Sola Fagorusi
Punch, Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Fatima dislocated her left shoulder while getting dressed. She was in an excruciating pain, butnot enough pain to make her forget that her immediate condition would be embarrassing to people if she were to raise the alarm.
She took her phone, which was lying on her bed and quickly used her right hand to quickly type "how to fix a dislocated shoulder" on her Google search bar, and followed the instructions. She was able to solve her problem without any embarrassment. She went for a check-up after getting dressed to ensure that every part of her body was in good position.
Google has become a part of our lives, and has seen us through minute-to-minute aspect of our daily living. People solve many of their problems with Google. They have improved cooking, housekeeping, grooming skills and many other skills with Google.
As an advanced kind of dictionary, Google not only defines words, it also explains things. It gives detailed examples, numerous views and puts things in context. These days, many arguments end as soon as they begin, as people easily turn to Google for clarification. "Let's Google it" is one of the most popular phrases all over the world nowadays.
One can use Google maps not only to find locations, but also to find distances and decide whether a trip is worth it or not. Google can also be in use to research on every aspect an entire trip.
It has saved a lot of businesses and relationships and contributed in making the world even smaller. Again, language is no longer a barrier, as we have Google translate.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to cheat in business because we can always check things on Google; even the prospective business partner's past. With Google converter, everybody has the exact and relevant details at any time.
Of course, with all great things that help people immensely, the possibility of great harm to people is also great.
Linda, a new tailor apprentice, was not feeling well. She had many ailments like fever, fatigue, swollen feet, and diarrhoea. She was also losing a lot of weight. Linda did not go to the hospital for a check-up. Instead, she turned to Google and discovered that she was most likely HIV-positive. She was devastated as one can well imagine. She was beside herself with fear. She lived with this dread for a few weeks, losing even more weight until she confided in a friend about her HIV status. The friend was sympathetic and started to counsel her. In the process of counselling her, he discovered that Linda never even got herself tested. He took her to a lab and she got a proper blood test. The result came out negative for HIV.
So, he insisted that she visited a hospital for proper check-up and diagnosis. After a thorough check-up, the result showed that she was fine and that her body was simply trying to adjust to her new vigorous lifestyle as a tailor apprentice where she uses the foot peddle of a sewing machine all day.
Matters of health should never be left to Google to decide. One can research symptoms on the Internet (even though doctors hate it when we do) but you should always discuss findings with your doctor. These are people who went through years of medical studies, and should be trusted with issues of health, at least more that the Internet. Many people have died due to wrong diagnoses on Google.
An article on Daily Mail online, says that one in four women have misdiagnosed themselves on the Internet. This is alarming. Think of all the destruction to health and possibly even death that the Internet diagnosis has caused. Linda was lucky to have confided in a friend who helped her out but think about millions of others who were not so lucky.
Another area where people constantly turn to Google for help, which can be dangerous, is in the area of relationship. When one types "how to" in Google space bar, most of the recommendations have to do with relationships like how to know if he/she loves you, among others.
People take to this very seriously forgetting that Google and the people who write these articles do not know who you are talking about. All of these articles can give are tips and pieces of advice. One can only try to relate them to one's situation without necessarily taking the advice hook line and sinker.
As much as we want an easy tool to use in solving all of our problems, we should realise that such a tool is not always valid.