What Are You Asking the Search Engine?

My de facto search engine is google (same as everybody else’s I’m assuming), and lately I’ve been amazed with the top searches that I get at the drop down list. So when I type “how do you know”, the suggestions from the top are “how do you know if a guy likes you”, “how do you know if your (sic) pregnant”,  “how do you know if a girl likes you”, “how do you know if you are pregnant”. What conclusions can we draw from these? Basically it looks like women/girls are the majority users of these search words, that there is a grammar problem (“your pregnant“), and that there is a big interest or a big worry in pregnancy.

When I type “when am I” the top searches I get are “when am I ovulating”, “when am I due”, “when am I most fertile”, “when am I going to die”, “when am I most likely to get pregnant”. My question was when am I going to get my tax refund, but apparently nobody cares about this. So pregnancy and fertility are clearly the major issues. Why? I’ve no idea.

Of course, the most interesting result is number 4: “when am I going to die”. Where do I begin? What kind of person types such a question? What are they expecting? A time table of their life to appear in their computer with milestones and a completion of project time?! Who are they asking this question? Is God up there in cyberspace heaven with a wireless connection replying to all these questions? Man, now I know why nothing’s getting done.  Are these people expecting to get an answer? Really?! And this search yields an astonishing 8,360,000 results! Holy s*t!

Now I’m getting more curious and I select the “when am I going to die” search. The top page that appears in the results is surprisingly hilarious: “The Death Clock – When Am I Going To Die? – Death Clock: The Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away…” And of course this is the friendliest reminder of all… Now I am intrigued, so I click on the website. The Death Clock’s homepage is there in its full gore. Skull, bones, blood, a cemetery.

We are invited to enter our personal information and then hit the “Check Your Death Clock” button. Now it’s too late to go back, so I enter the day, month, year of birth, my sex, then under “mode” I have to choose between normal, pessimistic, sadistic (!), optimistic – I chose normal, for the record, my BMI (less than 25, thank you very much), and smoking status (non-smoker).

Then I click on the “Check Your Death Clock” button. And -voila- magic happens: a new window pops up announcing that my Personal Day of Death is Sunday, March 16, 2053, and I have some 1 billion, 387 million seconds to live. WTF. Now I can, I can… I don’t know, just go on living I suppose. No need to rush getting things done, I have time. The pop up window has some very interesting graphics, a headstone with RIP written on it, and a skull-clock mechanism combo. And then there is another link “Delay Your Day of Death”, which I’m afraid I won’t click.

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