As the world’s most loved search engine celebrates its 20th birthday this month, it’s hard to imagine what life would have been without a worldwide web of information at our fingertips. Google gives us the resources to write a perfectly researched essay – and the links to countless cat videos that will make it a challenge to finish that essay on time.
Google initially started with fewer than 10,000 searches a day, and now it gets more than three and a half billion. We asked five Hong Kong teenagers to share how indispensable the site is to them.
A blessing and a curse
It’s very useful when it comes to doing my schoolwork. Google Translate helps me study Chinese, and the online tutorials I find help me understand maths better. On the flip side, it is also very distracting because it has YouTube and Netflix which are sites that enable procrastination for me and many other people, I’m sure.
Max Bertrand, 13, Korean International School of Hong Kong
All access pass
Google helps me a lot. For example, it helps me find the data I need when I work on projects. Google can help me access practically any website I want, so I can see and learn about anything I want.
Wong Wing-yan, 15, The Hong Kong Management Association K. S. Lo College
All the answers
It’s certainly made life easier by helping me find the answer to things I don’t know about, as well as helping me research topics for my assignments, as it’s basically a giant database filled with answers and opinions. And it also entertains me when I’m bored.
Caitlyn Wong, 14, Canadian International School
Thanks to Google, I have hundreds and thousands of sources I can use to complete my coursework. I must say it also stops me thinking of work as a burden since I don’t have to spend hours at the library looking for an answer to a question, or heft around heavy books everywhere. Plus, it gives me total access to my documents so I don’t have to worry about losing my work.
Calvin Iyer, 15, Kiangsu-Chekiang College International Section
All in one
Google has become indispensable to me because of the many features and services it has that can be accessed online, such as Google Maps and Gmail. It is extremely accessible and convenient to use.
I also find the collaboration features in Google Docs very useful when it comes to doing group projects, because my classmates can view each other’s work in real time and easily make changes.
Augustine Wong Hei-lok, 14, Diocesan Boys’ School