Internet, Search, Fanfiction? The Impact of 24 Years of Google

Did you grow up reading books and fanfiction online? We have Google to thank for that accessibility.

Book Culture On This Day

In high school, I would anxiously wait for school to end so I could go home, type wattpad.com into Google and read for hours on end. I know this is not a singular experience.

Google and Book History

Google has supplied resources for all areas of life since its formation in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page. I don’t think that anyone thought hand-held books would turn into intangible reading material, but here we are, 24 years later with complete novels written online. When I think of reading already published works online, I think of accessibility and the privilege Google has granted us; I’ll take a free book any day. But when I think about fanfiction published in all nooks and crannies of the internet, I think of how it is, at its core, a digitalized version of the serialized novel from the 19th century.

Image by Queens College Libraries

Just as they did for Dicken’s novels, readers have to wait anxiously to devour the next few chapters of a book. It allows for suspense and delayed gratification. This technique also incited a large following of people who wanted to talk about what they had read that morning, just as people do in the comment section of online works today

Google and its advancements in technology have granted us a new way to read and interact by recycling a very old method.

Google’s Allure

Google provides two major resources; accessibility and anonymity. Online writing platforms have allowed writing to go from extremely personal, attached directly to the authors name, to floating in a void. ‘Mystery’ is the word I would correlate with the online community.

This goes for the readers as well. We don’t know who reads our stories or where they are reading from. If only authors knew my eyes were glued to my computer screen in the middle of class anxiously hoping no one was reading over my shoulder.

Google has given us 24 years of mystery and will continue to harbor writers all over the world who want to ship themselves with their favorite celebrity. Trust me, I would know.

If you’d like to join the large community of fanfiction writers click here for tips!

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