My Meaningful Media

Google This, Not That

Five months ago today, Maximiliano Ferro was born, and with him, I was born into my new role as a mom.

When I learned I was pregnant, I decided to take a new approach to life: live in the moment, don’t research so much, and be spontaneous. But after 48 hours of active labor and many not-so-great decisions made along the way, Google became my new best friend.

What are the differences between rocking and shaking your baby? When can a baby use a pacifier? What are the symptoms of mastitis? What are the best developmental toys? Does the line on your belly go away after birth? How long should I wait before going to the gym?

All simple questions, with somewhat simple but meaningful answers.

And then it happened: During our first-month doctor’s visit, we were rushed to the cardiology intensive care unit when Maxi’s heart raced to 270 bpm. My questions changed after that, and with those changed questions, the complexity and range of Google’s answers also changed.

What can cause a very rapid heart rate in infants? What are the different types of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia)? What is the prognosis for each type? What happens if a baby taking propranolol gets the flu?

Although 90% of the responses to my Google searches could be perceived as meaningful, the value of the results were not.

Meaningful is in the eye of the beholder. Google’s meaningfulness as a medium depends drastically on how I decide to use it, and more importantly, when I use it. My life moments, and the intent behind my searches, alter my perception of search results and Google’s service. Brands that can decode the significance of my needs and adapt their usage of meaningful media accordingly, will be truly successful.

So, I tell moms and brands: Try your best and Google this, not that.