Yeah dear reader, don’t give me the look I know it’s been long...not just long but a veeery long time since my last post so I am here to officially inform you that I have been suffering from writer’s block *self-proclaimed* and so I have my friend Abdul here who will be writing today.
Here is a short bio about our guest writer,
I am an aspiring writer currently based in Dubai. I hate revolving doors. They are dangerous. I absolutely love Christopher Nolan movies (#NolanForPresident) and secretly listen to Katy Perry songs. I have an inquisitive mind and oddly shaped feet. I am one among the ‘tens’ of people from around the world who believes the letter “W” should be renamed to “Double V”.
He writes AWESOME!, not as much as me though. Oops, Did I say that loud?! :P
But let me not bore you anymore. Till I recover from my laziness, *ahem* writer’s block, stay tuned for new posts. Have a nice read! Do comment and tell us how you like this post. Enjoy!
How to become...
It has been well over 90 minutes since I took seat in front of my laptop. And my eyes stay peeled on to the screen. We have all been there; how the hell did it go from an innocent YouTube search about MS Excel for beginners to Benedict Cumberbatch can't say penguins? (I hate to admit but it's actually adorable, check it out here). The ‘suggested videos’ column of most video streaming websites can act like a wormhole that sucks you out of all the free time you may have.
Ever since stumbling upon a suggested video of a NASA mission, I have been hypnotized. I was both mesmerized and confused at the scale of scientific ingenuity and political redundancy. Of course I am referring to the campaign...uuhh... ahhem...I mean mission to the moon. It would eradicate even the slightest notion of the moon landing conspiracy people might have. Nevertheless I was amazed and intrigued. I wanted more. I sat for the whole show. God bless YouTube Playlists.
And then at about the two-hour mark I decided to take a break. Take a walk over to the Mosque I've been meaning to go for a while. And during that walk....that dimension of time. It's different. Like waiting at a bus stop, or taking a ride on the elevator. You are neither here nor there, too far from home and not close enough to your destination. I mean it's just a 5-minute walk, yet in that pocket of time, thoughts begin to flood my mind. I had just gotten off of close to 2 hours of space science and I was ecstatic! My world knew no bounds! I wanted to fly off on a cosmic adventure into the vastness of space! And then reality bumps into me in the form of a Filipino pedestrian I walked too close to. I apologize for my mistake.
|Interstellar: My favorite movie.......by the time I watched it for the 4th time.|
But how do I become an astronaut? Never seen a job posting from NASA or ESA in all the classifieds I've browsed or the LinkedIn profiles I've stalked. Never had a racist astronaut uncle who describes black holes in a memorable way. Never seen an ad for a college that gives away free iPads if you apply for an astronomy related course. So how do I go about this? Where do I get this information?
The logical next step was for me to go to the mother of the entire world's data. Yes, as you've been thinking "Why can't he just Google it?” I decided to do the same. But how do I search? What do I type?
Google search terms are more intimate than you might think. When you talk to people or pose someone a question, in person. That question goes through multiple rounds of filtering in your mind all in the span of a second; it's a heuristic process of refinement. But a Google search, now this is more spontaneous isn't it? You don't even have to spell it right! She will casually make a grammatically corrected suggestion for you. And yeah I've decided to feminize Google. And you can be open to her. Go ahead and scale down the abstract barricades while translating your thoughts to words, she won't judge you. We've all done it; Google search bar: ‘How to find the right job’, ‘What to gift a friend of a friend? ’, ‘What color is the blue & black dress really? ’, ‘Why is Kim Kardashian really famous?’
|Be right back....I have a few Rajinikanth jokes to make|
This was me thinking on a different trajectory, about human behavior when given privacy and truly express their undiluted desires. A car swiftly whizzes past reminding me of the busy road I am about to cross. That moment demoted me back to my initial level of thoughts: How to become an astronaut? And that is exactly what I decided to Google. Right after which I had an epiphany, sort of. I form a bridge to my 2nd level of thoughts about how people use Google search terms. And I wondered: What would Google suggest me when I type my incomplete Google search: ‘How to become....’?
I think it's common knowledge that Google suggests based on popular searches people have made all around the world and our personal search history (Though I've developed a habit of periodically wiping mine out..... you know, for privacy). The Google suggestion bar takes into account billions of internet users, most of them young. I wondered. What would people type after ‘How to become’? I mean it's a pretty representative genre of searches. I would assume that the demographic of such a search term would lie mostly in the range of 15 to 25 years of age. And what's so compelling about this search term is that it's so personal. I can very easily imagine a timid 14 year old kid, too embarrassed to ask his friends or parents, Googling ‘How to become an Ice skater’.
Who do you approach when the people closest to you are no longer an option? There is Google. Doesn't matter when or where, she is always there for you....as long as you pay your internet bills.
Once again I ask myself: What DO most youngsters want to become? I suddenly felt heavy, like a drenched rain coat weighing down over my shoulders. I felt that once I get back home to knowing the answer to that question, it would be a privilege or a burden. Either way, I had to put a pin on it as I had reached the entrance of my intended destination. It was time I removed my metaphorical pair of shoes of curiosity and reasoning.