The proliferation of digital devices and their reliance on the internet reflects that mankind’s propensity for community and curiosity is alive and well. Back in 1996, Ask Jeeves, an early pioneer in search engines, allowed users to seek information by asking questions posed in everyday language. Jeeves (based on the character created by British author P.G. Wodehouse) was the fictional digital valet who would ostensibly fetch the answers. Jeeves was retired in 2006 — perhaps because of his staggering salary, stock option, and health insurance demands. Ask Jeeves became simply, Ask.com. Although Google began to overshadow Ask.com as early as 2010, Ask.com influenced an entire generation of internet users to simply type in a question. Questions now make up a large percentage of what is entered into search engines.
What questions web users pose provides a fascinating window into the minds of Americans. What do they wonder about? What do they want to learn how to do? The most Googled questions in the past year reveal a fascination with games, humor, voting — and contemplating moving to Canada as a result of Donald Trump’s surprising win in the presidential election. One can surmise, that if Americans do not move to Canada, embracing humor and endlessly playing Pokemon Go will be critical to mental health. Below is Google’s top ten list of questions in the United States in 2016:
t. How to play Pokémon Go?
2. How to register to vote?
3. How to play Powerball?
4. How to make slime?
5. How to move to Canada?
6. How to battle in Pokémon Go?
7. How to appear funny?
8. How to catch Pokémon?
9. How to vote early?
10. How to use Snapchat filters?
For further reading: https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2016/GLOBAL