Often many of us, including myself, take what Google offers us for granted. It is free to us, in exchange for clicks on ads, them gathering our search history and much more. But it is free and a service 10 years ago, many would feel is worth a monthly fee.
One searcher stepped back from his busy day and noticed how often and for what purposes he uses Google on a daily basis. From email messages, to calling his family, to getting directions to a school event, to searching about an issue he may have. He teared up from thinking about this and wanted to write to Google and their Googlers how much it means to him that Google lets him save time on a daily basis to do more important things, be with his family.
The letter he wrote was posted in a Google Web Search Help thread but let me copy and paste it here for you all to read:
I woke up this morning and began my day. It went pretty smooth, all three kids are pretty autonomous at this point. There are three of them. Kids. And its been six months now sharing our lives together with their mother and I. They're her children; Kelsi is 14, Carina is 7, and Nick Nick is 4. I'm amazed at how crazy/fun/most challenging endeavor I've ever immersed myself within. It's exciting and I love my life. But I realized something after they had all left for school. I logged onto Gmail to check my mail. I whisked over to Google voice and talked with Heather, my lady, after she had dropped Nick Nick off. I jumped over to Google Maps to get directions (earlier for a vet location for an appointment) for an interview I have this afternoon.
I see how easily I can accomplish tasks that would have been otherwise daunting just a short while ago. A short while ago can be viewed from the perspective of me 5 years ago, or humanity 10 years ago. The time added for finding a destination you've never been too. The cost of a third or fourth phone line just to exchange vital information that would, in many cases, constitute a return trip home and not, "Oh! It's in the glovebox. Just check there." And Google Mail, come-on! You've removed the sheer hell of an employee dredging the cold, spending gas, accumulating wasted hours going to locations to look for a job only to find that you have no idea where you are. Again, I reference Google Maps.
There is an easy counter argument, "There are email sites, and Map sites, and voice/text sites available on the internet. But none of them bring the ease of use that you offer. My eyes well with tears when I realize that what your doing is giving me time. By transforming very difficult tasks in life into boring clicks of a mouse and clacks of a keyboard, you give me the time to play. To teach. To nurture. To learn. To grow. I never thought I'd ever cry for what a company has provided me, but I'm moved deeply that I was. And I wanted you to know that.
Funniest thing is, its hard to send Google an email. Or, at least, it's difficult for me.
It is true, step back, see where we have come in the past 5 to 10 years and look at how much of that is Google.
We don't say it enough, especially in our community. For many of us, Google makes or breaks our livelihood, which is scary but also important.
Thank you Google.
Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.