The Google-method of people-watching


Hank’s video inspired me to make similar searches. I began with the words “who is…?”

Which led to “Where is…?”

Which led to “How do I…?”

Which led to “Do you know…?”

I blame insomnia. Only it wasn’t 2 AM.

I’m a people-watcher. People are interesting. Give me a bench, a Dr. Pepper or an ice cream cone, a parade of individuals, and I’m a content woman. “Momma always said, ‘There’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes…where they goin’, where they been…'” (Name that movie).

Well, you can “tell an awful lot” about the world based on Google’s most popular searches.  One of the first things I noticed when I googled “How do I…?” is that a lot of people have questions about using facebook. Most common searches had to do with hiding information and deleting information. Either facebook is becoming too complicated for people to intuitively figure out (yes) or people want to hide more of their information from friends, family and coworkers (yes).

The second thing I noticed is that people ask questions of Google that Google cannot answer. Searches for “Who is God?” and “How do I look?”aren’t going to yield satisfying answers from Google.

I think some people are up to no good. If you are trying to figure out how you can be identified by your DNA, take this small bit of advice: find a hobby. Preferably one that doesn’t involve leaving behind significant amounts of DNA.

Several top searches made me laugh out loud. WHY is someone using Google to find out how to unstop his/her ear. This is a top search? Is there a worldwide problem with stopped ears? Are hundreds of thousands of people suffering with sinus problems and colds? Are they swimmers? Do they just have a build-up of wax? Is this a daily showering issue? What’s the deal?!

“Do you know how aardvarks make love?” REALLY?! Why does anyone want to know that? I hope this knowledge is desired for science and the good of mankind and not something gross.

“Don’t be hasty” — Treebeard, a wise Ent


During his sermon Sunday morning my pastor quoted Mark Driscoll. And the question occurred to me, what if someone listening to him for the first time assumed things about him and our church based on one phrase: “Mark Driscoll said…”

Many of the popular “watch-blogs” would assume certain things about my pastor simply because he quoted the oftentimes (though not as bad as a few years ago) crass and lewd Driscoll. Instead of talking to him first, or listening to the whole sermon and the quote in context, or investigating his leadership, they would jump to the conclusion that he is an imitator of the man he quoted. Then, they would make assumptions about the people filling the pews. Next thing you know we’re labeled heretics and a synagogue of Satan.

Have you seen the blogs I’m referring to? The ones with headlines like: (Name of pastor) shares pulpit with (Name of pastor): Slippery slope to apostasy? Or what about, (Name of pastor) references (Name of monk) in new book: Church headed toward mysticism? The assumptions that annoy me the most are the ones that are separated by several degrees. They go like this: Minister A quotes Minister B who was at the event with Minister C who was in that video with Minister D that promoted praying with your hands in your lap. OH NOES! RUN AWAY!

I’m a careful person when it comes to scripture and theology and truth vs. error, but that logic is kind of ridiculous. Not only that, but it’s more like gossip than discernment.

It reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes:

Right now some of you are assuming things about me because in the title of this post I quote a mythical creature which was created by a man who practiced Catholicism and who was also a close friend of C.S. Lewis who wrote about tree spirits and universal salvation. Or maybe you’re sizing me up based on my use of a clip from Monty Python which was produced by HandMade Films which also made Life of Brian and was funded by George Harrison who was in the most famous rock band ever and met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who teaches transcendental meditation. Well, don’t be silly: Of course, I like rabbits.