It belittles those of us who think that coming to the number 1 website for answers will give us the answer we want, and keeps us from recommending the site to other folks.
What I say to people who pose a question that I can’t answer: “You know what? I belong to a site called “The Straight Dope”. Join and post your question there, and in just a little while, there’ll be an answer or if not, someone will point you to a place where you CAN get an answer.”
None of us are Über-Menschen, but I’m proud to tell you (as I have before), you guys have saved me a LOT of money, just because I posted a question here.
So, please. Don’t turn folks away and send them to google with that phrase.
Who knows? Those folks (just as I do) may think, “Wow! How cool is that, and why didn’t I think of this before???”
“Google is your friend”, is just another way of saying, “Go away, boy! Ya bother me!”
I have answered many of my own questions (not posed here) by turning to Google and/or Wikipedia. It can be difficult to perform a search when one doesn’t know the terms of art, or when one’s question is of a complex technical nature, but in some cases the questions that get asked on SDMB are painfully simple ones that can be easily resolved by searching known repositories of information.
Example, this recent thread in which the OP asks why vendors offer rebates. Wikipedia not only has a page on rebates, they have a lengthy section on that page that begins with the introduction, “Retailers and manufacturers have many reasons to offer them” and goes on to list ten answers to the OP’s question.
if it’ll make you happy, people can abolish the phrase “Google is your friend” and instead just post a link to Google search results for the OP’s question exactly as originally worded.
If someone can’t even TRY to help themselves, I don’t see why I should help them. This isn’t, and should not be, the #1 place for basic facts on the internet. That is, and should be, wikipedia. If someone asks a question I think is stupid, I don’t think they’re stupid. I think they are lazy.
If you have a friend that wants to know something that is more or less a basic fact WHY wouldn’t you encourage him to do a little research for his or herself? Why would you NOT want them to know they can easily obtain the information, by putting a few words into google? I don’t get it. If they still have questions after they’ve learned the basics, bring it on.
The most awkward questions are where the person is too ignornant to know they are asking something highly controversial. Then they blunder into a real hornet’s nest.
When I post questions here, it’s because I’m actually interested in the SDMB community’s take on it and the related anecdotes, side information and other jaunts that come with it. The collective responses (and responses to those responses) are usually more informative to me than a Google search or Wikipedia page.
OK, clarify your OP. Are you annoyed that querents are being tersely referred elsewhere for answers, or are you annoyed that they are being belittled in the process? Or both?
You have no idea what I believe. “Stupid” don’t figure into this. There are no stupid questions, but there are some questions whose answers can easily be found via even minor resourcefulness.
Tell ya what. From now on, I’ll avoid posting links to Google or Wikipedia when responding to an OP. I’ll just present here as my own the wisdom that I find from browsing those resources. It’s a twofer: the querent will no longer feel like an ass, and I will appear all the more unachievably brilliant from their perspective.
The downside is that said querent will no longer learn the hidden lesson that enlightenment is sometimes just a web search away.
A lot of people are really bad at using search engines. They don’t know how to choose useful search terms, they don’t know about literal strings, they don’t know about search term modifiers, and so forth. If they ask a question that can be easily answered with a quick search, I see no reason not to provide an example search along with the answer it located. They get an answer, and hopefully learn a little about searching at the same time.
That’s so meta, you could type a cokebottle with it.
If somebody comes here and asks a really easy question that I know I can answer in two minutes with a quick search, I assume they’re unaware of how easy the search would be. So I go and get the answer and post it. I do practically nothing but the other guy is amazed at how I was able to answer his question so quickly. He thinks I must a genius to know all this stuff and I’m not going to spill the illusion by telling him how easily he could have done it hemself.
And THEN what happens (sometimes) is the answer you googled up is a compilation of the most POPULAR perspectives that doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny by a passing expert who is browsing the boards for some other reason. So you get to learn that your google-fu, while strong, is also inaccurate “and here’s why…”
Also, the answers themselves lead into questions the OP might never have even thought to ask.