If you’re wondering what you should do with your life, you might be tempted to take the easy option and play some kind of search engine roulette to figure out the answer. Or you might be addicted to self help books (research shows that the person most likely to buy a self help book is someone who bought a self help book in the last 17 months – it must be true I heard it on the internet). The temptation is to reach out to the tiny box on your browser to find out the direction to put your energy and focus and the expiring years of your dwindling life.
On the plus side, through a bewildering array of stored information that is transmitted every time you ask the great oracle a question, the oracle knows enough about your habits and searches to form an opinion about you. Google is more of a learning artificial intelligence than a robotic answer butler.
While humans spew exabytes of new information into hyper connected magnetic storage every day, you might think that the growing body of publicly available internet data is asymptotically moving towards a complete expression of human consciousness. More web pages, more emoticons, more knowledge. But you might be thoroughly wrong. If watering plants with gatorade isn’t the right thing to do, (see Idiocracy – it’s got electrolytes), then maybe pouring more unmoderated vomit of consciousness into the continuum of the world wide web might not create a better knowledge repository.
Sucking up a canned answer might not allow you to grow in the ways you might need to in order to ask a better question which will move you forward. Even if the canned answer is just a search engine experimenting with you.
What, wait a minute, the search engines are testing theories on humans? Yes indeed. They are trying people on different answers to questions we pose them to see which ones stick.
So if I search for “What shall I do with my life?”, I might be directed to go and be a subsistence farmer in Alaska, whereas you might be directed to set up a cult, or try investment banking. Maybe when SkyNet becomes self aware they won’t bother sending indestructable robots from the future to kill the humans that seem most likely to damage the new ruling power or the planet.
When Google becomes self aware all it might do is send people in large spurious loops and force them to lose themselves in a holding pattern until they run out of life force through natural causes like planes running out of fuel circling an airport that Air Traffic Control has told them is full. Maybe Google will just perhaps send people to buy new superfood supplements which will further diminish their reasoning capabilities, until they just wilt into quivering blobs of unsentient loss.
If you have a feeling that typing a question into a box might be a substitute for looking inwardly to reflect on your life’s purpose, I would suggest these places as a start:
Five Steps To Finding Out What To Do With Your Life
- Click on this link to get the answer to your question. Do it now. The answer is out there right now.
- Go out, take a walk if you can. Step away from the browser.
- Meditate a bit if that’s your thing, or give it a go for 10 minutes each day for a week if it isn’t. See if it helps you.
- Learn to ask better questions – this Life Hacker article is a good start. Think about what “What should I do with my life?” actually means, and think if “should” is the right word.
- Try to substitute a conversation with a human with an internet search each day. Ask better questions of people
I’m hoping that you didn’t actually click on the first link. Why? I’m hoping that you can actually appreciate that looking for a one hit idea to one of man’s greatest questions might not involve clicking on a link suggested on a blog that a search engine threw up. That even if you’re not paranoid about your relationship with the internet which is primarily moderated through a search engine, that you can learn to reflect and find other places to look.