It’s kind of comforting that despite our many differences, we all share the same dying wish: delete our internet search histories immediately.
Remember when people started using Google as a verb and it was kind of a big, jokey deal? Lol @ how long ago that feels. Googling something now is just second nature. The keyboard is our fifth limb, the search bar an extension of our brains! It’s why analyzing the world’s Google searches is like reading our collective diary. And, luckily for the snoop in all of us, Google does us the favor every year.
This morning, they revealed the top searches of 2016. I did some digging around the US statistics and, I must say, it’s a more honest depiction of our culture than a Black Mirror episode. I laughed, I cried, I concluded the only way to make sense of it all was via high school yearbook-style superlatives. So I held a vote and I’ll be honest: it was a super unfair election. Because I’m the only one who voted. But this felt like an apropos approach for 2016 (too soon?), so let’s go.
The 2016 Google Superlatives!
1. Most optimistic goes to: “Taco Diet” as the #2 diet search.
I love how badly we all want that whole moderation thing to be wrong.
2. Most flash-in-the-pan goes to: “Steven Avery” as the #5 most searched person.
Tangible proof of our 2016 love for binge-watching and temporary self-righteousness.
3. Most curveball goes to: “Quinoa” as the #3 calorie search, after “Big Mac” and “Coors.”
Why do so many people want to know about the calories in quinoa?!? I consider eating quinoa exercising.
4. Most dystopian pairing goes to: “How to play Pokemon go?” beating out “How to register to vote?” as the #1 how-to search.
Drink this poison with me on the count of three!
5. Most 2005 goes to: “Brad Pitt” as the #1 actor search.
The longevity of Brad Pitt’s career as ~Hollywood hunk~ is truly impressive considering how few good movies he’s done recently and how questionable his facial hair is the majority of the time.
6. Most harmless and yet depressing goes to: “Green bean casserole” as the #1 recipe search.
This saddened me. That’s all.
7. Most sigh-worthy goes to: “Hillary Clinton” and “Simone Biles” being the only women to crack the top 10 most searched people.
For the record, Ryan Lochte was in there. S/o to Hillary and Simone though.
8. Most accurate goes to: “Powerball” as the #1 overall search term.
I mean, everyone just wants to get filthy fucking rich and fast, so.
9. Most WTF goes to: “Was Goofy a dog?” being the #2 dog search.
I have so many follow-up questions. Why now? Why this? Why ever? Our dogs need us. We can’t do this.
10. Most unexpected goes to: “Slither.io” as the #5 OVERALL (!!!) search term.
This bowled me right the fuck over. WHAT IS SLITHER.IO AND HOW DID IT BEAT OLYMPICS AND TRUMP AND CLINTON AND DAVID BOWIE AND ELECTION??? I’m never felt more out of touch. I’ll tell you what it is though, because I researched: slither.io is a basic-ass game that is essentially the 2016 version of Nokia’s Snake.
So there you have it. 2016 is in some ways just a trumped up (*cough*) version of 2005.
(And as an apology for that comment, I’ll leave you with this video Google made about the year because it’s V. uplifting, all considering.)
Photo by Krista Anna Lewis.