It is always embarrassing when I am asked to look something up on Instagram. Why? Because the saved searches on my discover page are forced to collapse on hover. This comes much to the inquirer’s amusement. Hashtags like #refrigerator (I’m telling you, try it), #coachella (this is how I figured out whether I would wear a little dress or shorts), #manrepeller (you bought my book? Thank you. Thank you very much, Miss Lippy), and #rheumatoidarthritis (I just want to see what it looks like) infiltrate the page.
And when I have to share that with some plebe, I feel exposed. Like someone cracked me open, saw into me, laughed and left. It’s a grin-n-run, which is the worst kind of [insert single syllable verb]-n-run in my opinion. And I shouldn’t be expected to explain the intricacies of my mental objects, anyway. I think things, I search them. It’s between myself and me. Break.
The thing is, Instagram searching happens almost exclusively from my mobile device, where I am really only spending a small portion of my day using head space for the sake of discovery. On my computer, where the searching underscored by Google works like Buzz Lightyear — to infinity and beyond! — the real, creepy nuances of what goes on behind the curtains can really shine like, yes, an eighteen-eyed circus freak.
And though I have often argued that the former search bar is more private than my underwear drawer (namely because I refuse to wear thongs and prefer my under garments formulated in white cotton), what is privacy when considering this époque of over-sharing, anyway?
So, let’s unpack my privacy, shall we?
Unfortunately for the both of us, the last time I used Google for direction was this morning when news broke of Nicolas Ghesquière’s new position at Louis Vuitton. Before that, I asked my trusty encyclopedia of a digital page whether or not a sore throat could be a symptom of a rare form of terminal illness and if so, which one. Additional saved searches include a video of a sad clown singing Lorde’s “Royals.” I also just searched “cute little small nuts that people put in salads” hoping it would give me the name I was looking for. I’ll have you know it did and the name is pine nuts.
In the interest of that which is fair, I do believe it’s your turn, so: what’s the last thing you searched for on Google?