Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Encyclopedia

"Dad, can you show me how to Google something?" Maxfield, my 6 year old, asked.

I was curious about his request. The only interest he shows in the computer is when a game is involved. And he mentioned Google by name.

"Sure. What do you want to look up?"

"Billy Inschool* said that applesauce is a fruit. I told him it wasn't because a fruit is a fruit and applesauce is made from apples which is a fruit but that apple sauce is not a fruit because it does not grow that way."

*Tangent-I always find it funny that to a kid, another kid's last name is the same as where the kid knows the other kid from. Inschool is not Billy's last name and if it was he would have many siblings. There is Marissa Inschool, Kyle Inschool, Zach Inschool, Nicky Inschool etc. These are the same kids with the same last name as Inmyclass. Billy Inmyclass, Marissa Inmyclass, Zach Inmyclass. Billy also has the last name Fromteeball and Fromaroundtheblock, it all depends on when and where the point of reference to the conversation is. *End Tangent.

"And you want to look up, on Google, if applesauce is a fruit?"

"Yes."

I explained to Max, to the best of my knowledge, how the Internet works and what Google does as a search engine. I showed him how to get to Google and where he should type his key words. I told him the Internet was great for looking up information. I told him how when I was younger we need to look up information in books like encyclopedias. I also told him he is to never look up anything without an adult around.

"Why?" He asked?

"Well sometimes the answers to your questions may be something that is totally wrong for you. Do you know how I don't want you to watch certain movies or play certain games? Well it is kind of the same thing. Mommy or Daddy should be around to make sure you are learning what you need to learn from your questions."

"Okay."

"Looking up whether applesauce is a fruit should be okay for you to do." I said. "Now what should you type?"

"Is applesauce a fruit?" He said.

"Give it try."

Max started typing in the Google search bar. He typed a letter I and then the letter S. Google started to do the auto fill thing it does when it thinks it knows your search. Max started to read the Google questions suggestions.

I could see his innocent brain start to process the first Google auto fill response. He looked at me and then back to the screen. He looked at me again and then back to the screen. I quickly reached over top of his arms and typed the word apple to change the Google auto fill response to something more apple related. I quickly changed the topic to apple and sauces trying to distract him from his thoughts about Santa.

Seriously Google? The first response to the word IS in your searches is about whether Santa is real? Now I have no idea if that was what Maxfield was reading. I hope he was trying to figure out if Lady Gaga is a man. I know I would have an easier time talking to my kid about Vin Diesel's sexuality then I would explaining the existence of Santa.

Does anyone know if there is a kid friendly version of Google? Or does anyone know someone who sells Encyclopedias?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Try askkids.com. It is the kids version of ask.com. It has a natural language search which takes our natural speech and pulls out keywords.

mrtl said...

There's Yahooligans and Gogooligans, too. Or you just turn off autofill to stick with Google. I love Google.

bmj said...

Yeah, you can return to a "classic" Google mode that won't do auto-suggest. You can also crank up the filters in your search preferences.

for a different kind of girl said...

Now that Google's making me think of it, I'm wondering if Lady Gaga might not actually BE Vin Diesel.

Anonymous said...

Is William part girl

Sunshyne said...

Check out this link and it gives all of the various links for kid's search engines. There are some pretty cool ones listed. We've tried a few of them out and have been fairly impressed!

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-search-engines-kids-parents-safe-browsing/#more-49058

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

oh my word. Proving Google is evil.

Liz said...

awwwww, another reason to keep my kids away from computers entirely...

Liz said...

I am both cracking up and terror-stricken. This is what I have to look forward to! I had to quote you and your commenters on my blog! Thanks for the good laugh and the helpful links to kid search engines!

the other amy m said...

With regards to your tangent, I also think it's funny how kids say "Ethan's Mom, can I have a snack?" etc.

Oh boy, Max is a very cute preview of what's to come for us...

inklenaomi said...

library book sales are a great resource for encyclopedias.
Good thing you were right there!

Meera said...

this is such a sweet story! I hope he manages to be shielded from the truth about Santa for a long time :-)

Shannon said...

If you haven't already, try this:

http://www.safesearchkids.com/google-for-kids.html

Melinda said...

What a strange list to be produced from such a harmless Is. Deary me, danger lurks in some odd places!

Anonymous said...

One time I typed in "the easiest way" and it autofilled "to commit suicide." I had to send in a complaint on that one because...seriously? I checked again a month or so later and it didn't do that again. craziness.

ivysmom

mama_k said...

you know what's really weird? is that when i typed in 'is...' on google on *my* computer, none of these options came up. which leads me to believe that you, dear sir, have yourself been searching google for answers to these questions!!

how embarrassing. :)

Spain Dad said...

laughing out loud. thanks for a great story!

BKP said...

I had to try this just to see what would happen...
Sure enough... "is santa real" is the first on my list.
Lower down though on the list was "is kevjumba a heterosexual bear wrestler." This is one I want to click on, and then again don't.
Hilarious.
Thanks for the warning.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I never thought about this, but so glad to know it's something to safeguard against when my kids are old enough to Google things.

By the way, is applesauce a fruit?

chrissy said...

I just went to google a question and found strange "is" related results too! I was just about to blog about that (have the draft saved in fact). I seriously can't stop laughing about this.

Now I want to know what else google has strange results for.

I'm glad you found this strange too. I hope you don't mind that I may include this in a blog post as well. I am seriously laughing so hard about it.