How are our technological marvels reshaping the spirit of our times?
Search engines like Google have revolutionized the way we get information, providing access to vast stores of data via our fingertips. In a phrase that would make the late Carl Sagan smile, billions and billions of searches are done each year using the omniscient search engine Google.
What we search for, collectively, is an indication of Zeitgeist—the spirit of our times.
Zeitgeist is also the name of Google’s end-of-year compilation of the most popular search terms used around the globe. Here’s a small sample, focusing on the United States:
Fastest rising search term: twitter.
Fastest falling search term: john mccain.
Fastest rising news search term: swine flu.
Most queried term about the economy: crisis.
Most queried term about healthcare reform: obama.
Most sought after recipe: chili.
Most sought diet: south beach.
Most popular how-to: how to kiss.
Did you search for any of these? I searched for them all, except the last two.
I’m still trying to divine these digital tea leaves. What do they tell us about the spirit of our times?
Anything? What do they tell you?
Want to play around with Google Zeitgeist? Visit their web site and explore search patterns around the world and trends over time.
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