I spend one week alone with Google

Tom Krazit’s fantastic ‘One week without Google‘ piece over at CNET is insightful and thought provoking. Just how well can we do without the search+everything giant? It’s a thoroughly recommended read, and it has inspired us to do the exact opposite.

For exactly one week, we set Tamlin Magee with the task of using absolutely nothing but the Google homepage, locked in an isolated room without a single window. No searches, no social media, no telephone, literally nothing at all except that charming multicoloured logo, and a good old fashioned paper notepad to chart his exploits. We publish his diary here:

Day 1:

8.30 AM: Very up for it at the beginning of the day. Got out of bed and placed arse firmly in comfy office chair where I know I’ll be remaining for the next seven days. As per my task, I skipped my morning shower and the toothbrush. This week is all about Google, nothing else. Curtains are drawn for full immersion, I can’t have any vitamins from the sun affecting my research.

12:00 PM: Not bad so far, I begin pondering the meaning of the different colours in Google’s simple but famous logo. There is only one yellow letter and one green letter. What does this mean? I am struck by the excellent design of Google’s homepage. The text bar, to type things in, and the two possible tabs: “Google Search” and “I’m Feeling Lucky,” what a charming website.

7:00 PM: I begin to entertain myself by typing things into the text bar and seeing what comes up on AutoSuggest. I do this for five hours or so before falling asleep in my comfortable office chair.

Day 2:

11.47 PM: Without an alarm clock and with Google’s homepage as my only companion, I oversleep by several hours. I’m feeling kind of grubby and could do with a shower and a change of underwear, but I’m strict with myself and stick to the task at hand. There’s a crick in my neck and my back’s in knots for sleeping in this comfy chair.

2:30 PM: I’ve just noticed the very subtle shadowing on Google’s logo. This is a fun, go-getting company full of surprises. I admire the details of the typography for several more hours.

5:00 PM: I’m quite thirsty by this point. I wish I could do a Google image search of some bottled water to give my throat a much needed quenching. Minor grievances such as hunger aside, I carry on with my experiment. I’m so tempted to click on ‘Business Solutions’ right now, much more than ever before. I have noticed that sometimes when I blink I see the Google logo in my mind’s eye. I don’t mind because it is brilliant in its simplicity.

11:00 PM: My hunger pangs are really getting out of control by now. I wish I had been more lenient with my criteria. I force my bloodshot eyes shut and desperately try to enter something close to a state of sleep. I dream of Google.

Day 3

5:00 AM: I desperately need to urinate, despite the lack of any form of liquid save a little saliva in my system for two days now. I swivel my comfortable office chair very slightly, being sure to keep my eyes on Google.com, and attempt to wee into the bin near my desk. I miss and cover my leg.

3:00 PM: I really miss the sun, I miss my friends and family. I miss books, music, even television. I occupy myself all day by seeing how many words I can make out of ‘Google.’ I come up with ‘ogle,’ my exhausted brain unable to handle any further activity, and pass out.

9:00 PM: The sheer white background on Google.com is the closest I have been to sunlight for a time now. I bask in my monitor’s warm glow and dream of a tan. My skin is pale, I am shaking, there is dirt under my fingernails and I ache all over. I imagine that the middle ‘O’ is the crust of a lovely pie and that I am eating it. Force myself to sleep again.

Day 4

6:00 PM: There are ants everywhere. They’re crawling everywhere. Under my skin. I I can’t get rid of them. they. They all have Larry Page’s face. And he’s biting me. He won’t stop biting me.

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


Next month: Alexandra Pullin asks Jeeves for an entire month