Zeitgeist 2009

Every year, Google publishes a fun report. Capturing the mood of our time through Internet searches, it’s called zeitgeist. This year’s report, showing our mood in 2009, has appeared. It’s pretty interesting reading. Here’s the key graph for the US:

There are also reports of juicy search tidbits like “fastest rising” and “fastest falling”. The number one slots in those two categories would be “Twitter” and “John McCain”. In the news category, the only thing that isn’t related to swine flu or celebrities/gossip was the inauguration. That’s depressing, though I shouldn’t be shocked to find Americans not so interested in global warming or Darfur or even health care. Not surprisingly, people like to gaze at Mount Everest on Google Maps. People apparently like to look at images of Lady Gaga more than anything else. Our national zeitgeist is funny, sometimes surprising, and occasionally depressing.

You can also view trends for particular search terms. Some people will be interested to note that “heresy” is on the upswing, and “orthodoxy” is in decline. Folks seem to be more interested in Eucharist in the springtime.

Globally, Michael Jackson is in, while the Beijing Olympics are out. People worldwide have a taste for acai berry, which they must enjoy on picnics. The third fast rising food search was “クックパッド”. I wasn’t clear on what that is, but here are lots of photos of “Cook pad”.

I wonder what the zeitgeist of a parish would be. I guess it would be measured by coffee hour conversation, post-vestry parking lot chatter, and phone calls among parishioners. I’m not sure I’d want to see that report.

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