This Week’s Cartoon: “Search Engine Wars”

More often than not, I am impressed by whatever tweaks Google makes to its products. The recently- improved image search that expands the photos as you roll over them is very cool. I am not a fan, however, of Google Instant. The ever-shifting search results are distracting, introducing a sense of clutter to the minimalist aesthetic that helped make Google so popular. Thankfully, you can turn it off. And I have. But the whole episode made me wonder: what kind of world do we live in where the normally-fast Google is not fast enough? Do we really need those few seconds Google Instant claims it is saving us? And what will we do with them, aside from waste more time on the internet?

As a slowpoke, I find society’s efforts to push the upper bound on speed to be more a sign of sickness than anything. Increased worker productivity has won workers no higher wages, but more stress. At a certain point, you have to wonder: what’s the point? Aside from rushing to an early grave?


  • Kristi

    Thank you so much for this! I can finally put a name to the new annoyance that had recently taken over the main Google search — I hadn’t gotten around to finding out whether I could stop it and if so, how. I’ve just cancelled it in my Search Options. Sweet relief! There’s already an instant fill-in option on the Google toolbar.

  • Jim Donato

    After Google and Verizon issued their declaration of war on net neutrality, I stopped using Google services cold. I pulled my blog, cancelled my Google account [I used their cloud office] and I even block their spiders from indexing my blog in its new home. I now use a proxy search engine and I’m wondering why I didn’t do this earlier.

  • Mr. Mayes

    This cartoon reminds me of a book that I am planning on buying called Program or be Programmed.

    I think this book not only covers your cartoon regarding the search engine, but it covers other issues as well such as Facebook, Twitter and how technology is driving our decision making instead of the other way around.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.