Google today released its data on search trends in 2018. While these always reflect the state of the world over the course of the year, in this case the list of trending searches range from joyful to very, very sad — we’ve had a rollercoaster of a year.
It’s basically like reliving the year itself in a few seconds. “World Cup?” Yay! Avicii? Sad. Meghan Markle? Congrats again! Stephen Hawking… well now I’m really sad.
More than anything, Americans were apparently googling the people we lost in 2018, including the aforementioned Avicii and Stephen Hawking, as well as Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Stan Lee, and Mac Miller. Recently-deceased public figures take up more than half of the list of top-searched terms.
That said, the search trends that go beyond individual terms do show some ray of hope, as Google’s sweet recap vid shows:
Simon Rogers, the data editor for Google’s News Lab, specified the data also reflects how users globally searched for ways to do good. The question “How to vote” was the most-searched in the US, and the phrase “how to be a good role model” also had a lot of traction. He goes on:
We searched for good news of championships, medal counts and royal weddings, and sought out bright spots throughout the year. We also searched for how to be a good citizen, how to be a good friend, and how to be a good dancer. (Perhaps with the help of some Fortnite GIFs.)
I question whether Fortnite would help your dancing skills, but who am I to impugn the good name of the Milly Rock?
In other news, Americans apparently really want to know about the Mega Millions, as the term appears no less than five times in the search trends overall. Some bizarrely mundane questions managed to sneak in, such as “Where is Prince from?” (Minneapolis.) “What is Good Friday?” (The Friday before Easter Sunday.) or “What hair color looks best on me?” (DM me. This will probably take a while.)