There’s a notion floating about the internets that the only place we are truly honest with ourselves is found in what we type in a search box.


Do you agree with that idea?

Has Google replaced the Catholic confessional and the intimate family secret?

Do our private search wants results over time come to define us more precisely than our publicly expressed wants and needs ever could?

8 Comments

  1. They just frighten me sometimes. The most innocent beginnings of questions — “How do I…?” end up with some pretty gnarly things.
    Probably a good reason to keep kids offline until they’re ready. (If they ever are!)

  2. The promise was great. In some ways when I can’t remember how to spell the name of an artist, it really helps. I don’t want to see the dark underbelly of America every single time I search for a recipe, though! 🙂

  3. Go to Google Preferences.
    http://www.google.com/preferences?hl=en
    There is a section for query options with two radio buttons:
    Provide query suggestions in the search box.
    Do not provide query suggestions in the search box.
    As soon as I changed it to “do not provide…” it stopped providing.
    This relies on your being signed into Google. I guess that’s just how they get you!

  4. Oh, gosh, I had no idea those suggestions were from other users, duh. Thought that was Google telling me what was popular. Better be more careful what I type in there since the world is watching me.

  5. It is fascinating how these searches are logged and then recalled, Anne. It seems we should opt IN to that sort of Panopticonic searching rather than having to actively opt OUT of it.