When I came home from school last Tuesday, the first thing I did was get on my laptop. I quickly opened up Google Chrome, signed into my Gmail account and logged onto Google Talk, preparing myself for an exciting evening of
doing my homework, of course.
Little did I know, everyone's dear friend (sorry, Facebook) Google was celebrating its 13th birthday - and initiation into teenage-hood - with a cute birthday cake, streamers and balloons. Thank goodness the Google doodle alerted me!
I felt horrible - as anyone would whenever they forget the birthday of their closest friend. The guilt would weigh especially heavy in your mind if said friend has stuck by you, through thick and thin and whose unwavering loyalty remains to you, user of Google products. In fact, you may even have found this article using Google Search.
Like a good friend, Google has always made our lives a little bit easier. From writing our entire Spanish class papers on Google Translate (and procrastinating on those assignments with Google-owned YouTube) to using Google Search on school projects - even though we were supposed to use "media center recommended sites" like "SIRS Knowledge Source" (err... what's that again?), we have all spent a fair amount of time with Google that we rely on it as the "go-to" place for information and entertainment.
We have grown up with it, played around with Google Instant and, don't forget, used it as the ultimate reference guide (it's an all-in-one calculator, spell-check and dictionary). In fact, Google has become the best friend who knows everything, can give you all the answers and still remain patient throughout the whole process.
How did this even happen? Let's take a walk down memory lane.
Google creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin first registered the "google.com" domain name on Sept. 15 in 1997 during the dot-com bubble. However, it wasn't until after Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim invested $100,000 in the start-up that the company filed for incorporation on Sept. 4, 1998.
The company skyrocketed to fame by partnering with Yahoo! in 2000, the first and largest "online navigational guide" at the time, according to a 2000 press release from Google. The partnership allowed Google to become Yahoo!'s default search provider and a second partnership with AOL followed in 2002.
In the following years, Google slowly took over almost every aspect of our lives by creating Froogle (now Google product search) for our shopping needs, Google maps for our navigation needs and even Google docs for our word processing needs, which were previously controlled by Microsoft.
However, it didn't end there; no, Google was power-hungry. The company bought YouTube in 2006 and waged war against internet browsers Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer with Google Chrome in 2008. That still wasn't enough; in 2007, the company also tapped into the phone industry, creating the Android operating system. The truth is, unless you don't use technology at all, chances are you'll use Google at some point during the day.
Nevertheless, I celebrate and embrace Google in all of its glory, and I appreciate everything it has done for me. So I say: Happy Birthday, Google, and welcome to the awkward teenage years! P.S. I hope you survive them.
Brittany Cheng. <br>Brittany Cheng ('13) served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online (SCO) with <a href = "http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/staff/698">Langston Taylor</a> during the 2012-2013 school year. During their tenure, Cheng and Taylor led the site's front page makeover with technical staff members Prashan Dharmasena and Jessica Shi, incorporated live-blogging ... More »