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Last week, Christianity Today looked at what Google autocorrect teaches us about denominational stereotypes. I thought it would be equally interesting to look at what Google might teach us about singleness, dating and marriage. What I found was both comical and depressing. Google uses an algorithm to suggest popular queries so when users type things about singleness, dating and marriage, Google scans millions and millions of searches and anticipates how you might finish your particular question or statement.
I first looked at what Google would show us about singleness.
Apparently most people search about how great singleness is, while another group find singleness leads to loneliness. Imagine that! Does this seem backward to anyone else? I expected lonely to be No. 1 here. Not the last surprise, read on.
Ask about singleness in the form of a question, and we learn people are concerned about life insurance and taxes. Seriously, why do single people pay more taxes? I'll have to Google this one myself. This question made me wish autocorrect offered more than four options. There are more insights hidden here, I just know it.
Next, I asked Google about dating. What kind of questions and comments about dating do people come to Google with?
On this much, Google users appear to agree, dating is difficult. I'm not sure why people tell Google dating is a numbers game.
Ask it another way, and it's confirmed: People think dating is hard. It's hard for men. It's hard for women. Dating is hard.
Hmm ... perhaps there is money to be made in making dating easier. I know: online dating!
With the rise of online daters, I was surprised by the overall pessimism on this one. Some people even resort to name-calling. I know lots of people who've met spouses through online dating sites. None of them are losers. Google users are mean.
After these disheartening insights about dating, I optimistically asked a few questions about marriage.
I get the first three, but who are these people looking for vampire millionaires? If that's you, Google is probably not the best way to find them. In the comments below, please discuss which vampire movie/show the millionaire vampire hunters are currently engrossed in (yes, this whole post is an evil plot to break all previous comment records).
Here Google provides a whole host of bad ideas. In fact, I encourage you to do the exact opposite of each of these. What could you possibly have against a girl who reads? Mind-blowing.
Here we see our first mention of God. Apparently those who don't find marriage hard and boring sense there is something important about this sacred institution. Hopefully, many of these Googlers end up finding us at Boundless. We have lots of good stuff on why marriage is important and especially important to God.
How would you answer some of these questions/comments?
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--;)! Fun exercise!
--I hadn't seen the denomination article before, but I was reading the gender stereotype one yesterday, and I agree with some of the commenters who said not everyone who uses certain search terms necessarily agrees with that opinion. For instance, one time in college I needed to do a lot of research on the pros and cons of online dating, so some of my search terms probably sounded more positive or negative than I really felt. (Just to clarify, I do know better than to use Google for college research, but the professor had strange rules that forced me to. It was awful.)
For my old denomination I got "is a cult," "is wrong," "what is...?" and "is the only true church." Ha-ha. I think smaller denominations will have a lot of "what is...?" results because people haven't heard of them, and so many have similar-sounding names.
--Oh, this did make me giggle. I can't believe that millionaire vampire is one of the top hits!
--Millionaire vampire? Oh my. That's more than a little creepy, haha. Glad I'm not the only one who likes to search just to see the google suggestions based on what people search for. I have to admit I get more than a little entertained doing that, lol.
--this definitely brought the lols..... thanks :)
--I have been checking out some results myself.
"Being single is not a bad thing." Now this is beautiful! Singles who find it easy are often assumed to have some kind of serious problem, but singleness is not a curse or a crime or a disease or a mental illness. In fact, I have found more results that show being single as a positive thing.
"Why is dating so awkward?" I have seen several similar results to keep singles away from potential spouses.
--Oh, you MUST read the article on "don't marry a girl who reads"! It's encouraging guys to date a girl who reads, but in a roundabout way.
--"Men prefer" (according to Google):
- Long hair
- Curvy women
- Size 10
- Short women
"Women prefer" (also according to Google):
- Tall men
- Black men
- Bald men
Interpret as you see fit.
--Ha Ha!! Not that some of it isn't true... like the dating is hard part, but this really made me laugh! Miketime made me laugh too!
--I've worked with many non-Christians who say that singleness is awesome. Mainly because of the monogamy thing...
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