In the era of Google, it might not come as a surprise that the search bar keeps people in the know about their most intimate problems, burning questions and deepest thoughts. We can ask anything we want, anytime we want and get hundreds of answers in the blink of an eye, without anyone judging or criticizing us.
From questions like “Who sings this song?” or “How to tie a tie?” to “What is the purpose of life?”, our Google searches can tell a lot about the signs of our times. What’s hot in popular culture…what’s not, how much people’s interests and queries have changed over the years…you can find out all about it with the help of a little tool called Google Trends. That being said, here’s what Americans have been searching on Google in the last decade or so. Have you searched for any of these surprising things?
With all the attention-seeking celebrities, self-absorbed millennials and the increasing focus on “me” rather than “we” as a society, it’s no wonder that the term narcissistic was the number one search on Google. Recent generations are evidently more self-aware and maybe even more self-absorbed if we were to ask older generations, so, it makes sense for them to see if they really fit the profile of a narcissist or not.
The volume of Google searches for this word has increased significantly in the past 12 years, often combined with other terms such as “millennial”, “selfie” and “relationship”. Interesting, isn’t it? Speaking of narcissism and relationships, check out these 10 Signs You’re Dating A Narcissist.
Something else that’s become extremely popular and searched over the last few years is turmeric. According to Google’s Food Trends report, Americans have shown a growing desire to lead a healthier life, thus, find out more about the effects and benefits of all sorts of foods, including this golden spice, and how to incorporate them in their diets.
For instance, when people are searching turmeric videos on YouTube, the main focus is on videos that show them how to use the spice in various recipes, to add a special taste and flavor to dishes but also to combat everything from aging to arthritis, joint pain or high blood sugar levels. If you want to know what all the fuss about turmeric is all about, check out The Golden Spice: 8 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Turmeric.
Apart from a surge in searches of the word narcissism, people have also been searching for inspiration and motivation. What better way to stand up and fight for what you believe in than with the help of some motivational quotes? Hey, judging by the number of times motivational quotes have been searched on Google, it means they must be of some help to some people, right? Just look at all the Facebook posts and Instagram photos with seemingly empowering messages. They might seem cliché and overused to you, but the generic “motivational quotes” and “inspirational quotes” have become endemic on social media and there’s no going back.
In the words of famous Dolly Parton, “if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
Another surprising term whose search on Google has increased exponentially in the last decade is “finding purpose”. What kind of purpose? That probably depended on each individual’s situation. Along with “finding purpose”, many people have also looked for “bible verses” and “daily horoscope.” God and astrology – a bit of a contradiction, if you ask me, but, hey, each to its own.
It doesn’t surprise anyone that the Bible belt states registered the highest number of searches for “bible verses,” while the other states, particularly the ones in the north-east were extremely eager to find out their “daily horoscope.”
This is a startling search trend, but, it seems more and more people have searched for “how to have a miscarriage” or “how to self-abort” in recent years. As explained by New York Times columnist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, one of the reasons might be the closing of abortion clinics in several states across the country, making it exceedingly difficult, if not almost impossible, to get an abortion.
According to Google Trends, the number of Google searches using terms related to self-abortion was dramatically higher in states with the highest number of abortion restrictions, like Tennessee and Texas. In Texas, for instance, one study estimated that at least 100,000 Texas residents had tried to end a pregnancy on their own, by using various methods discovered on the internet.
Another surprising trend, maybe because women seem to have caught up with men in the cheating department, is the slowly but steadily rise in the number of searches for “cheating wife,” which exceeded the number of searches for “cheating husband”. From popular apps that cheaters use to clear signs they’re being cheated on by their wives, people have searched it all. To save you the trouble, here are 10 Subtle Signs That Your Spouse Is Cheating On You. You’re welcome!
In the Family & Relationships category, Americans have also been interested in learning a few “pick up lines”. The search for cheeky and cheesy ways to start a conversation has increased from year to year, hitting record highs every February, around Valentine’s Day.
Google Trends has also exposed an increasing interest in sensitive issues such as discrimination and inequality among Americans. Over the last six to seven years, people have been trying to find out more about how inequality is perpetuated and affects society, and how to deal with “bigotry,” “white privilege,” “xenophobia,” “ageist” and “misogyny”, among other things.
We can all thank Susan Cain’s popular book “Quiet” for explaining words such as “introvert”, “extrovert”, “extraversion and introversion” and how to deal with different types of people. In the last ten years, Americans have been particularly interested in trying to understand how to recognize introverts and how to interact with other people if you are an introvert yourself.
Speaking of differences in personality, here are 10 Types of People You’ll Come Across At Least Once in Your Life.
According to Google Trends, it seems Americans are searching for weed like never before. This might have something to do with the growing support for legalizing marijuana (58% support it today as opposed to 12% in 1969). Based on Google data, there was a higher activity in terms of marijuana searches in the West and Northeast regions, compared to the Midwest and Southern parts of the country.
“How to roll a joint” and “when will marijuana be legalized” were among the top searches.
Work from home jobs
Because of the pandemic, people have been working from home more than ever. But Americans have been searching for telecommuting options that would give them the chance to stay at home and spend more time with their kids long before the pandemic. In fact, Google searches for “jobs from home,” “flexible jobs,” “work from home” and “stay at home moms” has solidly increased in the past decade, to the detriment of “daycare” and “babysitter”.
As many of us have found out, it’s not easy working from home when you have children (or pets) disturbing your workflow and productivity every chance they get. If you are also in this predicament, these 5 Tricks to Work From Home and Stop Kids From Interrupting You might come in handy.