How often do you search things on the internet?

What does your browser history look like?

A few months ago one of my blog friends wrote about pulling up there history and looking at the last ten things they searched. I thought this was an interesting idea, so I jotted it down. Then I watched the HBO show “The Undoing” and watched an episode where the lawyer says that they looked at the profiles and search history of the perspective jurors.

Hmmmm

I have no idea about the legality of this, or if it actually does happen…but would it surprise you if people did look up your search history to see what kind of person you are?

Hmmmmm

So I looked at my browser, and these are the last 40ish searches:

  1. masala definition
  2. Masala powder
  3. specialty cakes- Veneiro’s
  4. Windmill cake
  5. wirelessly connect camera to computer troubleshoot
  6. MNR schedule
  7. Prince Tea House
  8. Segumo Salumeria
  9. Faiccos Italian Specialties
  10. IFC
  11. Hallmark Movies mystery schedule
  12. the next 20 items were all related to different kinds of reading exam tests
  13. the next 7 items were all restaurants
  14. ATT girl says she’s shamed over body image
  15. Film Forum

so…

If you look at my history, what does it say about me?

What kind of person am I?

Do you think this is a good indication of what type of person I am?

How would you describe me based on my search history?

Do you want me on your jury?

Do you want to be my friend?

Would you be interested in dating me?

After you read this post, and after you delete your browsing history, are you going to actively think about what you mindlessly type into the little browser bar?

How much googling do we need in our lives?

What’s the difference between the practical, like finding train schedules and movie times versus the sheer human interest, like why are people body shaming the actress on the commercial?

Does google make our lives better and easier, or does it just give us more to be distracted by?

On a scale on 1-10, how does google factor into your life? Does is make you better or worse?

Discuss

93 thoughts on “Need to Know

  1. LA, this is interesting. I’ve been thinking the same thing myself !
    I look at my browsing history, and delete it every day.
    Usually I browse things that I’m researching for posts, but I see that I also browse things like ‘best wrinkle creams’, and new recipes.
    And yes, I definitely believe that looking at our browsing history reveals a great deal about us. 🤗⚘🌷

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s funny because you can clearly see the stuff I researched for a post. And I know much if it was planning outings with my daughter and husband. But I think it’s interesting to look at what we look at

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. I never thought to look at my browsing history, but I google incessantly. I grew up in a family where we were encouraged to go to the encyclopedia whenever we asked a question; now we have one at our fingertips. My father would think he had died and gone to heaven (lol, well he has, but you get my drift). I googled last week when I was finally forced by WP to use their **#* new editor, “how do I upload images to my photo library in WP from my computer”. Up popped the answer, not from WP of course. I googled several things about the new editor why trying to figure out how to use such an extraordinarily poorly designed, non-user-friendly interface. Last night we were watching the tennis in Miami and I could look up each player’s age and recent playing history (all the youngest players were beating yesterday’s heroes). In my philosophy group yesterday I used it to look up definitions for the group. For phone numbers. For everything. It’s a constant. Hugely valued in my life.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Valued because you’re using it in a way to enhance your life and educate. What about other people? Plus…my guess is there’s no way they would want you as a juror on a high profile case because you think beyond what is said…😉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Lol. Re other people, I can’t vouch for them, but I’m very much taken with your theory on me being a threat in jury selection. If it comes to that, I’ll use that as a reason for me to be disqualified! 😏

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mine is all over the place, and because I use a Chromebook everything is saved from my phone, tablet and this laptop the moment I close a tab or search. Google is literally sitting here with me as I type, because WP (and your blog page) will show as a visited site as soon as I close out of this. I honestly don’t take the time to consider what I’m doing. I use these devices as I need them, clear things out regularly, but also realize that if someone really wanted to find something out about me, and had the skills, they could. We (unconsciously perhaps) make that choice to allow the eyes of others into our world the first time we are introduced to technology. I suppose adults accept that. A bigger concern in my view is the need and responsibility as adults to teach that fact to children…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kids have no conception of the power of the internet till it bites them. I know my daughters online presence is carefully curated because she doesn’t want something biting her down the road, but most kids don’t think that far ahead

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not concerned about my browser history, but I did switch from Google’s search engine in its Chrome browser to the DuckDuckGo search engine in the Brave browser because I’ve heard that Google censures, tracks and promotes certain sites when I do searches. However, this is a different concern than the one you are addressing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oddly, if you look at my notes when I thought if this topic, I wrote “google too much power ability to track” and that was what I intended to write about. But then I saw the show and the bit about researching someone’s history and I couldn’t get that angle out of my head

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This question makes me feel the full weight of my creaking, ancient age, remembering pre-Google times when I had to go the library, find journals for reference, or even descend into the library basement and request microfiche of newspaper articles. Writing an article took a long time. The ability to command instant information is an admixture of good and bad. Knowledge is power. But did I really need to read that NY Post article w/ the lurid headline?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I was thinking. The majority of my searches were either blog related (which boy am I glad I have the internet otherwise I wouldn’t have found anything) or leisure activities which I would have had to flip through physical papers for. But I know exactly what you mean…what about those “stupid” searches?

      Like

  6. I find Google to be very helpful. I don’t waste time with it. I use it productively. I don’t really care if they are collecting all kinds of information about me as long as it is not sensitive financial information, which they are not doing. I have nothing to hide. Will I get more ads targeted to me? I’m sure I will. It’s no big deal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it’s kind of scary for something to know my likes and dislikes. Information is a weapon. And weapons can be used against you. And sometimes innocent people get hurt. Too much of anything is bad

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Then don’t use Google. The government monitors Google’s information tracking and anti-trust activities. Google is regularly fined huge amounts regularly when they step over the line. Is google potentially dangerous? It can be, particularly when they turn over data to the authorities about criminal activities and terrorist threats. I don’t think people like you or me have much to worry about. I don’t think they’re out to get us. I worry much more about cyber criminal hacks and attacks, especially in the case of major data breaches.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s more of a broader question. Do search engines collect too much data on people. Is targeted marketing bad? Remember the subliminal advertising thing in the 70s…where they made subliminal cuts in films/tv to get people to buy more? I don’t like advertising, and now that there’s technically less of it in upfront ways like commercials, there will e more ways it sneaks up on you. I worry about a generation of kids being fed information. There’s this really interesting dystopian novel called The Feed, and another called The Circle. Both were written in the early 2000s and they’re a very scary look at search engines gone amok.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You know what I just thought of? Did you see the movie “I care a lot”? It’s not a direct correlation to this issue, but it kind of butts up against it.

      Like

  7. Google uses algorithms to track what we search and brings up items they think will best help us. I’d rather do without their help, but online searches have become a fact of life. I think using a computer at your local library would give a much wider range of possibilities for any search.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My daughters friend did a thesis on that Spokeo thing. She said what you can find out about people is startling…credit history, what they bought on eBay,all their email accounts, plus all the other tracking stuff…I don’t know if people realize how easy it is fir someone to find out everything about you. Personally I find that disturbing

      Liked by 1 person

  8. GREAT EXERCISE..VERY REVEALING!!– I pride myself on my years long boycott of cable TV news..but CLEARLY, CLEARLY I more than make up for it checking the news online..So basically I gave up smoking and starting drinking.. 😂.YAY me! 🙄

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right? What do we really do? How much do we look at what is fed to us? What I find scary is that I don’t use my phone for searches unless it’s an emergency, yet because of my email, I get all sorts of ads and directions on my phone. Plus, I have location services off, yet my phone knows where I am. Talk about big brother…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t look at my Google history, if I did I’d guess there’d be a long list of YouTube pages visited like skateboarding border collies, vintage watches, great train journey’s around the world………. oh and an adult chat room featuring ladies wearing underwear 🙄……. at least I’m honest lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If no one can hold anything against you with what they find…you’re ok. I rarely look at YouTube unless it’s a blog friend or my daughter says I have to see something

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I google beagle puppy pictures occasionally. Wonder if I am perceived as a “cheater” by google, because I already have a dog–who is not a beagle.

    I’m not sure it would be legal for the prosecution to have access to people’s search histories. I suppose the defense attorneys could do whatever they wanted, provided they had sufficient funds.
    I know someone who works in the court system. One of the biggest causes of possible rejection for a potential juror is having ties to someone involved in the case. Maybe your brother’s childhood friend is a law enforcement officer who will be called to testify–you get the picture. Probably not so much an issue in NYC–definitely an issue in smaller areas.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it would be defense on high profile cases with expensive lawyers. But anyone with money and/or ingenuity can find out anything. Look at the scams hitting senior living communities where cons find out the grandchild’s name and then call the grandparents and say they’re in jail or kidnapped or overdosed

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  11. I Google EVERYTHING! In fact, I get mad when people ask me something they could’ve simply googled. Just last night, I was in a meeting, where one person hasn’t attended because he’s been out of the country and “three hours ahead of us.” Finally, I was like where is he? Googled it. Saw he’d been lying, and now he owes us an explanation. Google is my friend.

    But if someone chose to look at it to see something about me? They’d be utterly confused lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! I tend to figure things out by myself because I’m that sort of person. So yeah…I do look things up…a lot. But…I also admit I try to leave a small digital footprint. People would be confused by me too

      Liked by 1 person

  12. One of the main throughlines of South Park season 20 is the release of a feature that gives people access to anyone’s entire internet history. The threat is societal collapse. All those secrets we’d learn from the major – your husband is cheating on you – to the minor – your cheating on your dog with other breeds 😉.

    Surely everyone’s search history by itself gives lies to the old idea: “If you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to worry about.” What could a lazy or malicious interpreter make of my recent query: “how many nuclear weapons to destroy the US.”?

    Google definitely enhanced my life, but it doesn’t have the same effect on everyone. As you say it’s how you use it. From my earliest experience with the internet it’s always been the volume of information that have attracted me, I don’t use it to entertain myself but to better myself I suppose. And only lately have I begun using it to share information as well as attain it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a big sharer of info online, except for my blog. Spoiler alert…my topic tomorrow is “is WordPress social media”? I’m an information whore, which is both good and bad because I’m always making connections to things…seeing how a effects b and so on. I love the immediacy of knowledge, but realized that yeah….anybody can use it against me. The tracking is great for a con artist. They can manipulate anything

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah WordPress was I was talking about too. It’s a great topic, I’m sure we’ve all had thoughts on that, particularly those of us who do avoid the obvious social media.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know the psychology behind it, but apparently there are patterns that indicate how you will act and react. Predictive behavior or something. Also, what kind of news stories do you focus on, how much do you spend, etc

      Like

  13. Depending on what I’m doing, my Google history can get really interesting. I like to look things up while I’m reading, especially if it is something I haven’t heard of before. I read a wide range of books on all kinds of subjects and I’ve looked up some really… um… interesting? (sure, let’s go with that) things in the past. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I frequently wonder what someone would think of my search history, on YouTube alone. Because we have children of varying ages, and have varied interests ourselves, the algorithm suggests everything from “Baby Shark” to “Nazca Booby Siblicide” to “Empire of Dust.”

    I think yours shows you’re a New Yorker. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yours just cracked me up! Truth….I almost never watch YouTube. I only do it when a blog friend suggests something or my daughter does. I have never looked up a YouTube without provocation

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry. It’s literally the only thing that distracts mine at the moment. I’m trying to branch him out into less-annoying songs like “The Gummy Bear Song.” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Yikes, I just lost my whole response. Here is the simple version. Both. If we create healthy boundaries with technology, then tech can enrich our lives. If we do not, then it is a distraction and unhealthy. We choose. I have worked on my own boundaries with tech the past three or four months, and am on my devices less today. Difficult, and necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The few times I’ve looked at my browsing history, I’ve been amused at the humdrum questions. Judging by my browsing, I’m easily ignorable. As to wanting to be your friend, the answer is a resounding YES.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I use Google to find what frequently turns out to be Wikipedia pages and images to use for my blog or book. In the rare event I want to buy something, I open a private browser window so as not to leave a track.

    I will also Google my ancestors – sometimes something cool pops up!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I google too much! I was also the kid who was always looking up things in encyclopedias before google! I love to know the how, what and why. Sometimes it is good, sometimes not so but that is just how I am!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. For the most part, I think Google is a good thing. I use it daily….for work and off-work…for mostly practical things …addresses, phone numbers, business hours, recipes, medical questions, reviews on all kinds of things. Whether or not it’s true I don’t know, but, I have heard there are a few things you might want to think twice about before “Googling” so as not to have a fleet of big black SUV’s circling your house….LoL. Perhaps more “people” are tuned into our Googling habits than we realize ….. and not because we’re looking for reasons why we had green “poo” one day……..Then again, I’ve probably watched way too many “spy” movies….Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I downloaded an extension for Google Chrome called Duck Duck Go. I was surprised at the difference it makes in searches. You get a much wider variety of sources. It’s almost as though Google directs you to sources it wants you to read. I get the same results as I did before, but a wider range of results. I do google a lot. I am always wanting to find out more.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I can’t deny that Google is pretty convenient. Always there if you need to look up a famous person’s age or to see if they’re still alive. Good for recipes and contact details for services. It’s a massive distraction too. I never seem to be able to settle on the first answer I find. Too much choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What an interesting idea for a blog post! And yes, what a mix of searches do we find in our browsing histories. I do think they reveal a lot about you as a person. I might just post my search history as a blog post! (And give you the credit ofcourse!)

    Liked by 1 person

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