Came across something a bit odd the other day.  I was Googling something (I forget what), and I Googled Jeopardy-style (i.e., in the form of a question).  I often do this (oddly, I find most people I talk to don’t realize that you can) and I invariably get good results.

Anyway, this particular time the question I was typing started simply with the word ‘does’.  For some reason, after typing ‘does’ and hitting the spacebar, I looked up at the screen.  I saw that the Google search bar (in an attempt to be helpful) had dropped down a list of search terms starting with ‘does’.  I assume that the list becomes populated in a similar fashion to any Google page – i.e., the result of indexed internet traffic.  In the case of the search bar, though, it stands to reason that it would be populated by an index of the terms searched for, rather than an index of what’s available on the web.

So – if you stop to think about it – that drop-down list is a little window into the current popular psyche.  In many ways, it’s telling us what’s on the mind of the internet.  So – of course – I just had to play around with this a bit.

In true Freudian fashion, I have decided to divide my findings into three basic categories (Id, Ego and Super-Ego), each of which is represented by a single search term (‘does’, ‘why’ and ‘should’, respectively), and here are the results:

PG_ID_01

Here are the results for the Id search. I find numbers 1, 5 and 8 most interesting. These are the sort of questions usually reserved for Ouija boards and Tarot cards. It intrigues me that people are now using Google for these purposes.

PG_Ego_01

The interesting results on the Ego list are numbers 3, 8 and 9. These are exactly the sort of questions I'd expect from the Ego - questions that we're really asking ourselves - we're just voicing them to help the thought process.

PG_SuperEgo_01

Lastly, we have our Super-Ego category. What I find interesting about this list is what it's lacking. It strikes me as being rather odd that, while our previous two categories produced questions seeking guidance, this search (the one I would presume most likely to produce questions seeking guidance) produces only one, and that one is of a very material nature. Strange.

So there you have it.  Today’s quick peek into the seedy underside of the popular psyche.  I assume that the lists I got today are different than the ones I would have gotten last month, as well as the ones I would get next month.  It stands to reason that the lists would be as fluid and changeable as the psyche that produces them.  Because of this, I think I’m going to have to keep an eye on this.  It could be interesting.

Maybe I’ll do this as a regular, weekly post.  If so, I’ll be sure to do it on Monday, when the popular psyche is still reeling from all the hopes and regrets of the weekend.

Advertisements