Cybermation. \n. cy-ber-ma'-shun  - facts perported on the world wide web; 2. \v. broadly : the validation of facts through cyber-means.
I'm inventing a new word. (At least, I think I am.)
Have you heard this word before? No, me either. But I think it's a valid word. And maybe it will end up in the lexicon someday as we're all doing it.
Need a restaurant? Look it up on the web.
Need to know who played Clarence in It's A Wonderful Life?" Google it.
Need a map to a job interview? Yahoo map it.
What the heck kind of bug is that crawling up my rose bush? Who knew garden clubs have websites!!
What's for sale on E-bay? Forgetaboutit! Hours are gone in a blink.
Oh, I've done it all. I don't have the phone yet that has the touch screen or the fun keyboard, (I'm still in the Stone Ages with my little AT&T ABC keyboard.) But at work or home, I rarely call 411 anymore. I look it up on the web. And once you discover this treasure trove of information at your fingertips, it's hard to stop . Some of us are a little obsessive.
I'm not naming names.
No, I'm not.
But along with all this wonderful access, I wonder if our own common sense is in danger of being trumped by the common opinion.
I was standing in a store line the other day with a woman who began chatting with me as she picked up a Mommy book for her daughter who was due to deliver this woman's first grandchild soon. We started talking about all the 'do's and don'ts' that have suddenly changed the face of pregnancy for our daughters. Mostly don'ts. Don't eat soft cheese. No fish. Don't sleep on your back. No this, no that.
Our daughters, both recenly pregnant had signed onto birth clubs online. And they had access to copious amounts of information that we'd never heard of wayyyyy back when we ourselves had had babies. How did our children ever survive without all of these warnings heeded??
We found ourselves laughing in that store line. Not that we were discounting this new information, but that we often found our own experience as moms trumped by online opinion.
The other day, my grandson had his first runny nose. Here's how that went:
"I think the baby has a cold," she said.
"Maybe it's a cold," I suggested, "or maybe he's just teething."
"Teething doesn't have anything to do with a runny nose, Mom."
"Where did you hear that?"
"Online. Doctors say it has nothing to do with teething."
"Hmmm. You guys always got little runny noses when you had a new tooth breaking through."
"No, mom. That's just wrong information. Maybe an old wives' tale."
Was it? Wait a minute... It couldn't be just me... (And did she just call me an old--? Never mind.)
"Wait," I said, stepping into her camp, "let me look it up."
Naturally, I Googled. And I found information to back up my claim. Yet, even as I'm doing this, I'm laughing to myself. Why do I need the internet to back up my own experience as a mom? (And to be fair, I found information to back up her claim as well. )
I forwarded her my carefully selected quote. She emailed me back a consession. We both laughed. And as soon as that darned tooth broke through, his nose miraculously stopped running.
Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe it is an old wives' tale. In the end, it wasn't really about who was right and who was wrong. It was either a cold or not a cold.
But it really made me think: am I actually second guessing my own real-life experience in favor of the common opinion??
I love the internet.
The internet is scary.
Now, excuse me while I google that pancake recipe I saw the other day online...