How The Hell Did Our Parents Keep Us Alive Without Google?

On December 13, 2018 at 6.17pm my daughter was born. By 6.45pm I had Googled “What is a sacral dimple?”

The midwives discovered it when she was born. We all know what happens when you Google your symptoms. “I have a  headache." It’s a brain tumour! “I’ve got a sore toe.” It’s gangrene. “Tickle in my throat.” You’ve got cancer of the larynx.

Of course I came across some very alarming possibilities because I decided to use good old Doctor Google. I then spent the next 24 hours panicking that my poor daughter was going to have to either have surgery or be affected by this crippling spinal issue for her entire life, so nothing too serious.

What is wrong with you? (Image: Getty)

Needless to say, once the real doctors had a look, she was completely fine and all was perfectly normal.

My wife stayed in hospital for two nights with our new baby, surrounded by some very lovely and knowledgeable midwives and nurses who were all just the push of a button away.  But after two nights with this safety blanket, it was time to take our daughter home.

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Much to my surprise the hospital doesn’t hand you a “Raising babies for dummies” book on your way out. All you get is a few emergency numbers to call if you think things are going wrong, but the question is, how do I know if things are going wrong? Google of course.

I’m pretty sure when our Google Home moved into our place it thought it had scored the sweetest gig. The most it was ever asked was “Hey Google, what’s the weather like?” or “Hey Google, what’s Inception about (seriously ask it, the answer is pretty funny). Since we came home with a baby it’s been working harder than a rooster with a sore throat.

Sweet gig.

“Hey Google, what temperature should a baby be?”

“Hey Google, how long should my baby be sleeping?”

“Hey Google, when will my baby stop crying constantly?”

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I know what you’re thinking: “Wow this guy’s a bit neurotic.” And maybe I am but I’ve never been in charge of keeping anyone alive, apart from myself, and I struggle to do that most days. I mean, exactly how else am I supposed to know things about this tiny human?

How do I keep you alive? (Image: Getty)

That being said, there have been numerous times when I’ve been asking Google questions and thought to myself, “this is ridiculous, my parents never had Google when I was a baby so how on earth did they keep me alive?”

So I asked them.

Mum said, “Well if you seemed unwell then we’d wait to see if you got better and if you didn’t, we went to the doctor.”

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Dad was a bit more laid back. “We’d check food, nappy, wind and if you had a temperature we’d just keep an eye on it for a few days.”

Sounds like such a simple time to be alive. Much happier and stress free.

She'll be right. (Image: Getty)

A friend of ours who’s also recently had a baby said she was concerned that her daughter’s eyes didn’t seem to be properly focusing. She was stressing about it so what did she do? Googled it! Did it relieve her fears and concerns? No! It just freaked her out even more.

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So why do we do it? Why do we Google our symptoms? I say ‘we’ because I’m certainly not alone. Did you know one in five Google searches are health related? Suffice to say it appears we’re all suffering from Google neuroses.

I’m here to say we need to STOP! Let’s use Google for the purposes intended such as telling us what the weather will be like tomorrow or who the 457th prime minister we’ve had this year is or to do simple math that we just can’t be bothered to do ourselves (or in my case can’t do).

Is it Kevin Rudd again? (Image: Getty)

I’m making a pledge today that I shall no longer Google my daughter's symptoms. Instead I’ll take my parents' 1980s ‘she’ll be right’ approach to parenting... just as soon as I’ve checked to make sure these pimples on her face are normal!

They are.