Three reasons to turn off creepy Google Instant (and how to do it)

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Google Instant is not for me. When I search, I don’t want Google to
know where I am or what I like or to tell me things it thinks I am
interested in. I don’t want a for-profit corporation to be what Sergey Brin wants Google to be – “the third half of your brain.”

Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather not have my frontal lobes annexed, even by the geniuses of Mountain View.

Three reasons I’m turning off Google Instant:

1) Google Instant doesn’t improve the search experience.

Let’s say I’m looking for information about Guantanamo. I start
typing G- (Gmail!) Gu-(Gucci!) Gua-(the Guardian (UK newspaper), Guan—
until finally getting some results about Guantanamo. On the way I’ve
been distracted by the unlikely probabilities. For Google, it’s a smart
proposition because I saw more advertisements. To me, I don’t want to
shop for handbags while researching interrogation methods.

2) Google Instant doesn’t save time.

Google says that the primary benefit of Google Instant is speed:

“The user benefits of Google Instant are many—but the
primary one is time saved. Our testing has shown that Google Instant
saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search. That may not
seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. With Google Instant, we
estimate that we’ll save our users 11 hours with each passing second!”

But as Google admits (and Forbes reports here) you will most likely spend that saved time doing more searches.

“Speedy results feel like success,” Udi Manber, vice president of
engineering at Google told Forbes. "People search more because they get
more interested in a subject."

3) The Creepy Factor.

With Google Instant, the Googlers seem have reached a new pitch of enthusiasm for Big Brother-type formulations.

Co-founder Brin whispers he wants only 33 percent of your brain.

CEO Eric Schmitt coos, “We can suggest what you should do next, what you care about. Imagine: We know where you are, we know what you like.”

Vice President Marissa Mayer warbles, “There’s even a psychic element to it.”

Want to exit this psycho-party? Here’s how to escape Google Instant.

To the right of the search box, in small letters, is the message “Instant is on.” Click the down arrow to turn it off “Off.”

Now you’re getting Google’s “Query Suggestions/Autocomplete” under
your search, which you may want to turn off, too. To use the search box
without suggestions, use this link

(Discussions on how to turn off Instant and Suggestions continue on the Google Forums here and here. )

Consumer Watchdog
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