You will recall that in the wake of the unexpected results of the referendum calling for the immediate exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union there were numerous accounts of massive google searches in the UK the day AFTER the referendum. The most commonly asked questions included, “What is the EU?” and “What countries are in the EU?”
Thus the efficacy of the democratic process was assured once again, but the story did propel me toward an investigation of the questions we, as informed Americans, ask the all-knowing googleverse.
It will come as no surprise that Pokemon, Prince, the IPhone7, Melania Trump, and Simone Biles were widely searched. The entire “Is it healthy…” domain once again emerges as a constant theme in our national search history. Some make eminently good sense; “Is it healthy to be a Vegan?” Sure. Reasonable question. On the other hand, “Is it healthy to eat your boogers?” seems a question best left unexamined as is, “Why does my arm shake when I eat dirt”. Some questions are more poignant than others. “Are there people who never find love?”; some are oddly provocative, “What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?”
A state-by-state survey of questions asked raises some disturbing issues with regard to the demographic diversity of the United States. Some states ask certain questions more frequently than others; for example, Georgians ask the question, “Why do my nipples hurt” more than any other state while insecure Floridians ask, “Why does everyone hate Florida?” Some questions appear widely and one would think appropriately, such as, “When is Ramadan?” West Virginians, however, may have missed a clue in asking, “When is Cinco de Mayo?”
In terms of frequency with which questions were asked last year, drought damaged Californians had every right to ask, “Was 2016 the worst year ever?”. At another level, it makes sense that Oklahomans wondered about Kevin Durant’s decision to pay for the Oakland Warriors.
I don’t quite know what to do with the split between North and South Dakotans. Learning of his death, South Dakota wanted information on Elie Wiesel; North Dakotans either wanted more information about or showtimes of “Dirty Grandpa”.
Connecticut wanted more insight into the Comey letter whereas Delaware craved the details of the “Brangelina” divorce. West Virginia responded to the death of Muhammad Ali with interest in his life and legacy; Tennessee wondered if Mr. T had actually died. (I’m pleased to report that Mr. T is alive, well, and ready to pity as many fools as come his way). Michigan, home to Hockeytown USA, googled extensively about hockey hero Gordie Howe while Missouri, the “Show Me” state, wanted evidence that McDonald’s actually did intend to serve breakfast all day.
As to why North Dakotans ask the question, “When is the NFL draft?” more frequently than any other state while South Dakotans ask,”Why is my poop green” remains a mystery.
I’ll google it and let you know what I find out.