If we are what we google, what do these trends tell us about ourselves?


Google Year in Search 2019

It’s that time of year already: the time when Google releases its Year in Search—a snapshot of the global and local search trends. We turn to Google for almost everything we need, want, and dream of. Key search categories span across news, people, actors, athletes, movies, songs, TV shows, etc. And every year, before the end of the year, Google publishes an emotional video with the best (and the worst) of what happened. How do we know that is the best/worst? Because this is what people searched for, which is probably a great representation of what happened.

For the past few years, I have waited with anticipation for the Year in Search video release. It seems only yesterday that I wrote about the Year in Search 2018, and here I am, looking back on what happened during 2019. I use the video as an opportunity to rewind my memory and look at the highlights of the year that is ending. It’s also a sort of test. I am curious to see what I recognize—what was also one of my searches—and what I totally missed. The world is moving so fast, yet we have the ability to learn about what is happening in almost every corner of the world. All of this can be intimidating and can make us overwhelmed. With the Year in Search video we have the opportunity to pause for a couple of minutes and reflect.

Micro and Macro

You probably know where I am going here. I am going to talk (again!) about micro and macro! While the video—which may seem far away from our daily lives—provides a macro view of all the year’s searches, it is made up of micro (individual) searches. We are the power behind all those searches. Macro and micro are two ways to look at the same reality, and they are the best ways I can think of to show how much power we have in shaping our reality as single individuals. There is no macro reality disconnected from single actions. We saw that when we talked about climate change or when we discussed the role of technology in our lives. We have the power to shape our lives and the society we live in.

We do have super powers

Can you imagine my face when I saw this Year in Search video for the first time? If you haven’t watched the video yet, now it is the right time. And you should understand what I mean.

Throughout history, in times of uncertainty the world look for heroes. In 2019, searches for heroes soared. We searched for Marvel super heroes, real-life super heroes, people with superpowers, unsung heroes, unlikely heroes, sheroes, supermoms, and superdads. We wanted to know if superheroes can fly and what do heroes look like?

While I was watching with eyes wide, the video took a familiar path, highlighting that “not all heroes wear capes” and that people asked “What makes a person a hero?”—check out the article Why the world doesn’t need Superman but needs Shake-Uppers instead that I published just a few weeks back if you missed it.

Can anyone be a hero?

Yes indeed! The world doesn’t need superheroes. We can all be Shake-Uppers.

Shake-Uppers are people with superpowers. They see the need for change and are ready to embrace it. They take action, they move. Shake-uppers believe in the power of learning and improving during their entire lives. They value the growth-minded approach of people ready to know more, to understand and to work on themselves—on their beliefs, thoughts, and habits—to make things happen and embrace change. They are curious about themselves and curious about the world that surrounds them. They value experiences—both positive and seemingly negative—because they can help them grow and improve. Shake-Uppers are everyday heroes.

The finale of the video is the inspiration that will inform my actions moving forward.

Use your heart, your courage, and vision to fix, to heal, to empathize, to connect, because living life for something bigger than yourself is a hero’s journey.

To everyone using their powers to empower others: search on.

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