For most of Google’s relatively short existence, we’ve searched small, silly, insignificant questions. Things like how to tell if a papaya is ripe? The color is almost fully yellow and the feeling is slightly soft. Don’t forget to scoop out the seeds. Sadly, though, the last few years have caused many of us to dig a little deeper in search of more important things. Don’t get me wrong, we still asked incredibly strange questions this year, but an overwhelming majority of us asked some rather deep questions about our world, our place in the universe and even our place in our own lives.
Smart or simple, deep or shallow, I’m going to answer some of Google’s most searched questions of 2022. Maybe we’ll find enlightenment, or maybe we’ll find out why our poop can sometimes be green.
What is Wordle? It’s a daily word game that was created by software engineer Josh Wardle as a gift to his partner, before it suddenly went viral. The aim of the game is to guess a random 5-letter word in 6 tries. The fewer tries it takes you to guess the word, the smarter you feel. Which is why it isn’t surprising that what is the Wordle today? Was another very popular question. And the answer to that is C-H-E-A-T. As in, you are a dirty little cheat.
Speaking of cheating, How to tell if a Pokémon card is fake? Rip the card in half. If there is a black layer between two thin strips of cardboard, congratulations, your card is real. Just a warning, this test may reduce the value of your card.
How to tell if oat milk is bad?
It is thicker than normal and a bit yellow.
How many ounces in a cup?
8 fluid ounces.
Is Europe a country?
An American probably Googled this.
Where is Wakanda? An American probably Googled this as well. In all seriousness, though, Wakanda is the fictional country in Marvel lore, the home of the Black Panther.
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. They are essentially unique digital IDs that are verified via blockchain technology and can’t be copied.
But then, if they’re on the blockchain and they’re meant to be so secure, How are NFTs stolen?
They are typically stolen in phishing schemes. Because your NFT is assigned to your NFT wallet and not you as a person, a scammer just needs a private key to access that wallet. They can get that key by sending you a dubious email that tricks you into clicking on a link, which hands over the private key. So anytime you see a weird link in your email, verify its authenticity before clicking on it.
Who is the richest person in the world?
For a long time, it was Elon Musk, but he was recently overtaken by Bernard Arnault - thanks to a massive crash in Tesla’s stock price.
What song is this?
2022 hasn’t been friendly to our pockets. We’ve seen massive layoffs, and the cost of living keeps rising every day. It’s no wonder then, that some of our most frequent searches included:
What is Inflation?
It’s when the cost of everything goes up due to an imbalance between supply and demand.
Why are gas prices so high?
Inflation. And also the war in Ukraine which is causing supply issues given that Russia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of oil and gas.
Speaking of which, Why is Russia invading Ukraine?
No one has a definitive answer aside from Vladimir Putin. He may want to bring the former Soviet Union back together. Or maybe he is simply trying to consolidate power to stay alive. Or he may have just wanted to deter NATO from encroaching on Russia. For now, we can only speculate based on the insights of people closest to the situation.
What is NATO?
An acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, it's a safety and security alliance consisting of 30 nations. Basically, it’s a group of countries that came together to form an alliance against the powerful Soviet Union back in 1949. Experiencing a war in real-time can be emotionally devastating. Watching millions of people forced out of their homes is incredibly sad, but at least we can rest assured knowing that millions of us are out here searching for ways to help those affected.
How to help Ukraine? Resources are in the description below.
Why do we need an election? To keep democracy alive. And to prevent governments from taking actions that we, the citizens, do not agree with.
How do I register to vote? Your government should have a voting-registration process on a website you can access by Googling this question along with the name of your country. Register early, or you may not get to exercise your democratic right.
How do I vote? Go to a voting center, show your I.D., make your choices and insert your ballot into a box. Then go home and cheer on your team/candidate of choice. It’s been two years since lockdowns basically pressed pause on our lives. Things might not be as grim as they once were, but to say that COVID-19 is completely behind us would be somewhat naive.
How long do you test positive for Covid?
Up to ten very long days. Possibly longer. One good thing the pandemic has done, though, is make us more aware of the sicknesses and diseases that we live amongst everyday. Which has led to some interesting questions like:
Why do we fall ill? We get ill by one of two main causes. Infectious diseases come from pathogens which are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Non-infectious diseases are caused by genetics, environment and lifestyle choices.
How do you get monkeypox? It mainly spreads through sexual contact or by providing care to an infected patient. It’s possible but not verified that it can also spread from breathing, coughing and sneezing.
Why do I feel lightheaded?
You might be dehydrated, have low blood sugar, or you could be having a stroke.
How do I know if I am having a stroke?
You feel lightheaded, have sudden numbness, confusion, trouble seeing, trouble walking, and a severe headache. If you think someone is having a stroke, ask them to smile. Does one side of their face droop? Ask them to lift their arms. Does one side drift down? Ask them to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange? If the answer to any of that is yes - call emergency services immediately.
How long do short people live?
This was a TikTok joke where users posted the search results they got from asking this question. But in case anyone is genuinely curious, on average, short people actually live longer than tall people. Shout out to my short kings and queens.
Wait a minute, how tall was Queen Elizabeth? 5’4”, yeah, that checks out.
How long do idiots live? - This was another TikTok joke in the same vein. I don’t have statistics to back this up but the mortality rate of idiots is likely much higher from all the TikTok dares they participate in. On a related note:
What is the blackout challenge? Don’t. Just don’t.
How to lose weight fast? To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you ingest. Anyone offering you any advice other than that is selling you a lie.
How do you spell?
Ask Google Assistant or Siri.
Where to watch the World Cup 2022? You can watch the highlights and replays here on YouTube. Spoiler Alert, Argentina won.
Where is hurricane Ian now?
In the back seat of your car, look out! Relax, Ian took off back in September.
What time is it? 11:11pm. Make a wish.
When is Black Friday 2022? It was November 25th and the deals were just okay.
When is the next full moon?
January 6th. Try not to feast on too many innocent humans.
When is Diwali?
October 24th. One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is the way that lights change the atmosphere of places you’re already familiar with. Diwali really nails this.
What to watch?
Aperture, hopefully. But if you’ve already watched all the videos 10 times each, then why not go back and watch:
How I met your mother?
I refuse to spoil it for you.
Who is Jeffrey Dahmer? A cannibalistic serial killer who I made an entire video about and a disappointingly popular Halloween costume.
Will Smith Oscars? You must be referring to possibly the most infamous slap in human history. In case you didn’t catch it, Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, and in retaliation, Will Smith slapped Chris live at the Oscars. Right now, the clip of that slap currently has more views than the movie Will Smith won his Oscar for. Sigh, that just makes me so sad.
Where can I find happiness? Many philosophers and religious leaders will tell you that it’s not where you can find happiness but what you can change within to bring about contentment. You may also want to check out an all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s definitely some happiness there.
Where am I? Physically? Google Maps. Existentially? We often feel like we’re not where we need to be in life. We compare ourselves to others and some vague standard that is filtered to us through the media. The truth is that it ultimately doesn’t matter. Progress in life is an illusion. As long as you have food, clothing, shelter and healthy relationships, you don’t need to constantly worry about the rest. Think about how many people love you regardless of where you are in your career. Do you think success would make them care more? Probably not.
Okay, but, How to tell him I like him?
With direct words that can’t be misinterpreted.
How to tell if a girl likes you but is hiding it
Ask her with direct words that can’t be misinterpreted.
How to tell if he loves me?
Their eyes pop out, and their pupils turn into tiny hearts. In all seriousness, he’ll listen to you and remember what you say. He’ll want to spend time with you. And most importantly, he’ll tell you with direct words that can’t be misinterpreted.
First date questions?
Ask them about their passion projects, what their typical day is like, what they were like as a kid, or some of their favorite shower thoughts *wink*. These are guaranteed to start some very interesting conversations. The kind of conversations that can blossom into romance or, at the very least a half-decent date.
What should I talk about with my girlfriend?
Their passions. Their dreams for the future. Movies they’ve loved or hated. Ask about their ex. When was the last time they talked to them? Do they still love them? How do you stack up by comparison to the ex? You know, real fun conversations.
Is my boyfriend cheating?
Are they smiling at their phone a lot? That could be a big tell. Typically phones are a great source of misery and negativity in general. Smiles could indicate that they’re receiving raunchy texts from someone else and not reading about climate change or the looming recession. But that leads to another question I have. Why, as a culture, are we so obsessed with being cheated on? Why do we have this engrained entitlement to exclusivity where an affair is considered such an egregious crime?
Some of the more popular videos online are about exposing the extra-marital affairs of husbands and wives. In one video I saw recently, a jealous husband proved his wife was cheating by following her with a drone. Is the crime of cheating greater than drone stalking? I’m not saying we all need to become polyamorists, but maybe we should take down the cheating obsession a notch. At the end of the day, we are what we focus on.
How soon is too soon to move in?
It’s a bad economy. Get to know each other a bit then sign that lease together and save on rent.
How soon is too soon to propose
When you stop feeling the urge to search this. Truth be told, it’s going to be different for everyone. You need clues that you’re both on the same page. More time won’t hurt. Within reason, of course.
Should I propose before or after dinner?
10 minutes after you digest dinner. There’s no need to ruin a good appetite with a potential ‘no’.
Where to buy a pregnancy test?
The pharmacy. Don’t search online, or you’ll get served pregnancy-test ads. Also, don’t be shy about getting one. We’re all adults here.
If you’re searching for a pregnancy test, then you might also be asking yourself, Am I ready for a baby?
Having a baby is obviously going to change your life dramatically. Your day-to-day existence will be considerably more challenging. But if you’re sure you want a baby, you’ll rise to the challenge. It’s not something you can quit and you’ll realize that when you’re only sleeping 3 hours a night. Another question to ask is if this world is safe for a baby. Countries around the world have repeatedly failed to take responsibility for their ongoing contribution to climate change.
Housing has become unaffordable for most people under the age of 40. A.I. poses a serious risk to humanity and there are countless other looming threats around every corner. With these compounding dangers, is it even ethical to have a baby? Was it ever ethical to have one in the first place? I actually made a whole video on anti-natalism if you want to take a look. It might help you answer that question.
If you’ve decided you are ready, though, How to prepare for fatherhood and How to be a good mother are good questions to ask.
The answer? Read a book or two on parenting. Show up for your kids and let them know how much you love them every single day. And when they grow up, don’t follow them on social media.
How to change a diaper? Remove the diaper and always wipe from front to back. When their privates are clean, lift their legs to place the diaper underneath. Close the diaper and breathe through your nose again.
As is the trend, the world seemed a lot heavier this year. War, disease and inflation have occupied a lot of our mental space. The outlook for the world seems as uncertain as it has in a long time. What should we do when our future is so uncertain? Do we give up on our dreams or move on to the next step? Well, judging by our most popular searches this year, I’d say we’ve decided to keep going and to just keep searching for answers along the way.
To do that, though, we need Google. So, Is Google down?
Sigh. I hope you answered this one yourself after a moment of reflection.