Google Trends, on the surface, seems like a brilliant idea. Let’s add up all the internet searches across the planet and show what’s being searched for the most. For businesses this could be useful to keep up with marketing trends. Sociologists and other researchers can use this data to glean key insights into the human condition. But spend any length of time here and you’ll see what it really is: Society’s vapid soulless highlight reel.
If you had to guess what gets the most searches on the internet (besides porn, of course) what would you guess it would be?
As of right now (May 13th, 2015 at 9:15pm Pacific Time) these are just a handful of the things you can find on Google Trends.
1. An in-depth exploration of the popularity of Justin Bieber compared to Miley Cyrus. Justin Bieber is apparently most popular in the the Solomon Islands right now; Miley? She’s popular in Seychelles.
2. 200,000+ people searched for American Idol yesterday. Another 100,000+ people searched for Dancing with the Stars; whereas only about 50,000 people were interested in Harriet Tubman being put on the $20 bill; The same amount of interest given to Farrah Abraham dissing a co-star on Twitter (Again) and Noah Abraham proposing on Dancing with the Stars.
3. For YouTube videos watched in the last 24 hours, number 1 on the charts is an admittedly awesome video of lava engulfing cans of Coke, but number 3 on this very same list is Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea’s “Pretty Girls” music video. Also on the list, “Girl kicks her teacher in balls (with English subtitles).” (Can anyone say Idiocracy?)
4. After Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian takes second place for most searched person of 2014.
5. Celebrity pregnancies and weddings have their very own search trend categories.
What am I getting at here?
We, as a society need to rethink our values and priorities. Why are these things important to us? We have been taught to favor leisure and spectatorism over ingenuity, creativity and productivity. We have been taught that stupidity is a virtue and intelligence is equated with arrogance, weakness or social ineptitude.
These things don’t just happen randomly though. Through TV, tabloids and the internet we are bombarded with this indoctrination constantly. We have learned it, not through real experience, but from the false “experience” of the media we have digested. But anything that can be learned can be un-learned. So, please, un-learn the vacuous, purposeless corporate consumer lifestyle that you have grown accustomed to.
Step away from the TV, get off your butt, stop making excuses and find your purpose. Find something you enjoy doing and do it. Learn something new that you have always wanted to learn and use that knowledge to better your own life or the life of others. Pick up a new hobby, meet some new people, make something, DO SOMETHING.
Just, please, for your sake and your children’s sake and for the sake of all future generations, stop watching the game of life go by, and start playing.