Is it Just Me or Does Google Have ESP?

Sometimes I feel like Google has ESP, not for this search. No, my nipples don't itch, in case you were wondering.

 

I always marvel at how Google seems to know exactly what I’m thinking, no matter how unusual. I’ll start a question with a single word like, “Is…” and it will finish my thought to completion.

A couple months back, I saw an update on Facebook that read: “Put the words ‘I’M SCARED OF’ in a Google search box and see what comes up. I figured they’ve read my mind in the past so, why not? I mean, the answer is sure to be “snakes that come out of the toilet,” right?

So, I wrote “I’m Scared of” in the little box – and Google finished my sentence with this: “Chinese People.” Yep, “I’m scared of Chinese people,” was the top search starting with those words.

Just to clarify, that was not the phrase I was looking for — If Google said “I’m scared of Chinese people holding snakes in my bathroom,” maybe, but I am not scared of Chinese people.

I hope that’s not offensive to Chinese axe murderers, Chinese Mafioso AKA Triad (found it in a Google search), Chinese gang members, Chinese chefs (What? Have you not seen what they do to rabbits?), or any other Chinese person who takes pride in being sinister. Frankly, you’re the last people I’d like to offend.

Now that we’ve cleared the air, and we’re all safe from easily offended Chinese criminals and chefs, I thought I’d start typing in other phrases simply to see what screwed up things people are searching for, as it appears Google doesn’t always read my mind. I was rewarded with this (thank you Google):

Query: “HOW TO BECOME…”

Response:
1. …a millionaire
2. …a notary in Florida
3. …a vampire
4. …anorexic

Wow, apparently notaries in Florida do shockingly well. If you don’t live in Florida, the whole Vampire thing is a great back up, as I imagine eternal life leaves years to amass quite a fortune.

It’s disheartening to think about how many people are looking into becoming anorexic, but I imagine many of those same people are also searching how to become a vampire (have you ever seen a fat vampire?) So, that’s a good thing because clearly they have other options. Also, it would be interesting to know if most notaries in Florida are thin, as well as wealthy.

Query: “DO YOU EAT…”

Response:
1. …the rind on brie?
2. …spiders in your sleep?
3. …the skin on salmon?
4. …pomogranite seeds?

It seems odd that the spider question would beat out the others and yet, the truth is, I know the answers to the other 3: you can, you can, and you can, but have no clue whether you eat spiders in your sleep.

In fact, I was intrigued enough to look into the spider thing, because holy shit, if “Do you eat spiders in your sleep?”* is a top search, then I’m guessing you probably do, and the only thing I hate eating more than salmon skin, is spiders.

Query: “I DON’T LIKE BEING…”

Response:
1. …touched
2. …pregnant
3. …a mom
4. …handed things

Not sure if you noticed, but these responses seem to be linked. If we could just stop the touching, the rest would fall into place for the people Google searchers.

Frankly, I love most of the above, except being handed things. Unfortunately, being a mom most certainly exacerbates that particular pet peeve. No one hands me things more than my children — snotty tissues, half eaten food, banana peels, chewed gum, wrappers, shoes… and usually while I’m driving, peeing, sleeping, or showering.

By the time I finally settle in to bed, and my loving husband kindly brings me a glass of water, but holds it out for me to grab, I’m all “Put the freaking water on the nightstand, why must I take it from your hand? Oh, and thanks.” (See honey, it’s not you, I’m just taking it out on you, for a change.)

*Oh, you wanted to know what I found out about the spiders? No, you most likely do not swallow spiders in your sleep, though it is possible. Maybe, like one or two in your lifetime, which still kinda sucks for us… and spiders.

PS I looked up “I’M SCARED” again, and “Chinese people” was replaced with “toasters,” which I think is a more valid phobia. I mean, toasters are certainly the scariest counter-top appliance I can think of. Well, after the blender, and the food processor, and the electric can opener (ooh they’re bad), and the microwave — but then toasters, definitely. If a Chinese person fought a toaster, I think it would be a pretty even battle. Assuming the toaster was on an extension cord… obviously.

PPS I was truly elated to see that people are less fearful of the Chinese than they were a couple months back — I’m sure there was a good PR campaign that occurred somewhere in the interim to take care of that issue, much to the dismay of toasters.

PPPS So I looked up the words “CHINESE PEOPLE” to check out their PR campaign, and the phrase, “Chinese People Eat Babies” was number 3. Though, admittedly, I think this was a bad distraction marketing ploy, I must warn parents (just in case): Do not take these searches lightly — the next time you take your little ones for dim sum, make sure they’re strapped tightly into their highchairs!

46 thoughts on “Is it Just Me or Does Google Have ESP?

  1. BusyMomofTwins

    A really funny post! I have definitely wondered where those strange responses come from. I typed in “I wish I was…” and it came up “baller”. I am hoping that refers to British soccer?

    Reply
  2. Bari

    Google, has spiders!!! Beware, google uses spiders to decide which articles post fist. I think that might be the scariest search of all! Love the way you think and write.

    Reply
  3. Julia's Math

    My blog has a section for “search term results” um WTF?! Wow! I did a piece on Why Sharing A Bed Is Overrated… I cannot reprint the results for fear I will get flagged as an Internet weirdo! I triple lock my doors at night because there are some scary folks out there!

    Reply
  4. Alison

    Jenny—it is like you are an extension of my family. I think Andy and I say “Google it” 100 times a day. Every time we say, “Google it” we fold into a fit of hysterics—but we always get an answer to our insanely bizarre questions. Though as of late Chinese baby eaters and sleep-eating spider phobias have not hit our list of questions, although snakes coming out of the toilet is a huge phobia for me too…LOL!

    Reply
    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Google always solves fights for us. They’re usually about the year a movie came out or the name of a celeb in the film. Blockbuster is so thankful for it. We used to call them all the time to settle bets. We were really annoying.

      Reply
  5. Pauline Baird Jones

    When I was in England during the 90’s toasters were setting toaster pastries on fire. I mean, seriously on fire. Flames shooting up to the ceiling and everything. I have no idea if they fixed the problem, but it does make a toaster fear a bit more logical. I mean, setting your toaster pastry on fire? that’s just evil!

    Reply
  6. Pauline Baird Jones

    I used to be on the first page when you searched “bat crap crazy” just because I did a blog about it. But I’ve been pushed back to the fourth page by Sheldon. I’m kind of happy about that. I only did it the one time. Online.

    Reply
  7. Michele Lee via Facebook

    When ever I start with an “I wonder …” my son always tells me to “google it! You have a smart phone”. I always do and your piece is exactly our experience. So funny!

    Reply
  8. Deb

    Oh this is really, really funny! I know exactly what you mean as I have noticed this with google search in the past. It’s like someone yelling out phrases trying to guess what you are going to type. lol

    Reply
  9. Jessica

    That post was pretty funny. Cheered me right up. I know I have typed things into the search screen on google and its scared me with some of the suggestions. I was helping my niece with a project on writing a paper and I wanted to google “How to successfully write a paper.” and after typing “How to successfully” the first suggestion was “How to successfully overdose.”

    Reply
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  11. weezafish

    Funny, funny. I typed in “Is It Just Me” and it came back with “or is everything kak”. Kak being a well known British slang word for ‘crap’.

    Reply
  12. Heather

    Hi Jenny! Just found your blog and am cracking up with each article I read. I googled ‘I have to’ to see what would come up and the responses were:

    return some videotapes
    pee
    poop
    see a man about a horse

    loving this new game you’ve given me and excited to read more from your blog! -Heather
    Heather recently posted…I’m the worst/best!My Profile

    Reply
  13. Rick

    I actually was wondering what happens to all the letters sent to Santa!! Lol Don’t know why,so I typed, what happens to all.My question popped right up! Really had me puzzled about how they knew what I was asking!! Lol

    Reply
  14. Serena

    I know this is a couple of years old, but I have got to chime in to say, this is absolutely hilarious! Loved it. I found my way here by searching “How does google know how to finish my sentences.” It’s been an increasingly growing suspicion of mine that there’s something really weird going on (ESP? Remote Viewing? Google is really God? I jest. Kind of). But seriously, it really does complete my most obscure queries after the first two or three words! Today I was looking for, “What is it like to be a bat?” That’s an actual article someone wrote. I entered, “What is it…” and Google completed “…like to be a bat.” Now come one! How????
    Serena recently posted…A Winter Storm and a Day of Crafting, Beautiful Together!My Profile

    Reply
  15. Andy

    Google is seriously reading my brainwaves or something lol. ( well kinda lol but kinda freaky too) So I drive an hour to school everyday and I take my work boots off to give my feet a rest. Well I never said a word out loud about it so google didn’t get it from listening to me but I wondered to myself if it was illegal to drive barefoot. So I pick up my phone and start to type, I got to is it ill….. before bam ! Auto finish is it illegal to drive barefoot! !! Come on! How the F!!! Now it knows I make this drive to school from work so maybe it just inferred from a set of circumstances. But wow, pretty impressive predictive capabilities none the less. Almost clairvoyant some could perceive.

    Reply

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