The Googlers!

It is the year 1998 and I am finishing my last year of high school. I have long blond hair and I look kinda cool. I have the best girlfriend ever and am loving life. I drive an old car, a Fiat Ritmo, which was the cheapest car you could buy. In 1998 Norway beats Brazil in football (2-1) , Boris Yeltsin is doing his thing in Russia, Frank Sinatra sings his last song and Pol Pot is no more…

The year is 1998.

In a small town in Norway, a young couple gives birth to a beautiful boy and this firstborn son comes into this world between his mom and dad’s final exams. Night and day there is work in the house. That son is mine and that home was mine too.

Somewhere else some guys comes up with a great idea, born in a garage (as most good things). Google comes to life. How could we have known that this will be revolutionary for our lives? This is when I had just bought my mom a book called an Atlas with paper maps of all the world. This same year I looked in an encyclopedia that had 6 big books and was already outdated when it was printed. I also had something we called a ‘planner’ that was a nice booklet in leather with a calendar inside – today it is just a distant history.

Google; today my calendar is online somewhere, google maps I use for my trips. If i don’t know something I Google it – it is all Google.

Is this advertising for a company? No, absolutely not but they, together with many others, change the way we do life . But I wonder if all this information is always good for us. I am a clear fan of information and openness but there are certain things we cannot just ‘google it’.

Like in 1998 I became a father (yes you can probably google how to become one and it will tell you for sure) but you cannot google to become a real father or a real mother. The presence, the tone of voice, the love and care and safety they bring. And you cannot find out how, what and where about your child on google. No, you need to live it day by day. I have found something that I call ‘google moms and dads’ – people that google how to raise a child, how to feed a child and what does that child need to eat, what sickness does it get and basically living their life after the ‘last google search’. What a stress! Not good neither for the child or the parent.

There are certain things you just cannot get by reading, other things need to be worked on within ourselves, but parenting, friendships and marriage are not something we just google. No, we need to live it, fail and raise again. There are No perfect parents, No perfect friends and there are no perfect marriage, actually no marriage problems at all- just personal problems, luggage that we take with us in a marriage and also to our friendships and parenting.

Life is more than google and our security as leaders, fathers, mothers, as friends and as people should not be based on ‘google it’, but on how we are on the inside, our character and stature. Google is a great tool for information, for my calendar, for my road trip, but not for my day to day life and not for my parenting of my children, my friendships and my marriage.

The year is 1998 and i took a big step in life, becoming a teenage father , a husband- and what a joy and amazing privilege. Thanks to my son for letting me be a dad that fails, stumbles, but still loves and cheers for my children. Thanks to my best girlfriend ever for letting me be her husband.

With or without Google.

Till next time, let’s live life…

Rune Sæther

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