People: Dumb?

January 17, 2012


2011 has ended and the myriad search engines have been releasing year-end round ups of the top Internet searches during the past year.  The results are… well, they don’t speak highly of humanity.   For starters, these lists filter out spam and such, which makes sense, but they also had to not include people looking for search engines.  Do you understand?  They had to eliminate the enormous number of people who went to, say, Yahoo, to do a search for


No word on whether or not they factored in people who went to a search engine and just yelled their searches out loud or upon seeing their search come up on the screen tried to reach in to the screen and grab it.

Well, the #10 & #9 top searches for the year were “Osama bin Laden” and “Japan Earthquake.”  Totally reasonable.  Two of the defining moments of the year in terms of geopolitics and human interest.  Good on ya’, humanity.  Way to stay informed and concerned.

Shall we stop there?  Just kind of think about how aware and smart and concerned we all are?  Okay.  Ahhhh.  I bet the remaining 8 were for things like “financial planning” and searches for “How can I alleviate suffering in Sub-Saharan Africa?” and such. Yessir.

These kinds of women...

Or… maybe… people wanted to know about… women.  No, not naked women (though I’m sure there was not a shortage of those searches)… Awful women.  Rich, horrible, plastic, loathsome women.  In fact, #’s 8, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 were all for famous women.  Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian and Casey Anthony, respectively.


Okay, perhaps Casey Anthony kinda sorta counts as a news item (although I had to do a Google search to find out who she was.  Ironic!), but let’s not pretend people were so interested because it was a news story.

Okay, folks, show's over! Nothing more to see here! Let's move along, now. Move along.

All the rest of them?  Kim Kardashian doesn’t do anything!!  Lindsay Lohan??   I just–! It’s just–!  I mean–!  Okay, I’m sorry. Deep breath.  Jennifer Aniston??  What is there about Jenifer Aniston that you could possibly want to know at this point that you don’t already know?!

I’m sorry.  Let’s move on.

The top search was for “iPhone” which is interesting because, according to a recent New York Times article, studies have shown that when people think about their iPhones, it arouses the same parts and levels in the brain as thinking about their loved ones.  True Story.  No word on the variances of those searches like, “Gifts my iPhone might like” or “Prosthetic lips for my iPhone.”  But, in a roundabout way, it’s like the number one search was for love!  Awwww.

But the key search, for our purposes, was #7.  The #7 search was for “American Idol,” which brings me to my proposal for 2012.

We're here to help.

We can do better.  We can search better.  And here’s how:

I think the first step would be to put Aniston, Kardashian, Lohan, Lopez and, yes, Anthony on American Idol.  Also Rebecca Black, who topped – topped – Google’s “trending” list for the year.  This way, we’re freeing up some valuable real estate!  One search? BOOM.  Done. And there’s 6 new spaces available.

Step 2: Contact everyone in the state/county/province where you live (utilize a friend!  It’ll halve the work and double the fun!).  Give them a list of things to search for every few days.  Things like “Community Service” and “Quantum mechanics” and “Western Archetypes in the literature of James Joyce” and “The Byronic Man.”  Especially that last one.  That one’s key.  That’s how we’ll know we’re on the job.  It’ll be like our little code for each other.

Step 3: In January 2013, sit back and marvel at our collective smartitude.

Wait.  Is smartitude a word?  I should look it up.  How do I get to Google?

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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35 Comments on “People: Dumb?”

  1. becomingcliche Says:

    I don’t even know who Rebecca Black is.I no longer consider myself educated.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Actually, that’s probably a sign of sophistication. She’s a wealthy teenager whose parents signed her up for this “We’ll make your child a star” service. They recorded a song called “Friday” for her and shot a video. The song became fairly popular with tweeners, and HUGELY popular with people who hated it (she’s not much of a singer, or actor, and the song is vapid to the point of parody).


  2. BrainRants Says:

    If ‘smartitude’ isn’t a word, it should be. Part of the friends helping drive the search terms could also be to clog the engines with “Hollywood Skank” and see if that also condenses those six spots.


  3. booksnob Says:

    Smartitude had better be a word! [shakes angry fist at OED]


  4. gojulesgo Says:

    I love your plan. Especially because I think people will get to my blog through searching “Byronic Man.”


  5. Kitchen Slattern Says:

    Smartitude is certainly a word, as are crapitude, craptastic and crapalicious, and all will turn up Kardashian-related sites when you Google them. Just so you know.


  6. Lenore Diane Says:

    Where does the search, “How can I tell if my iPhone loves me?” rank? I dare not skew the numbers for 2012, so perhaps it should remain a mystery.

    Off to Google Byronic Man. I’m not sure why it sounds familiar to me.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      You know, “How can I tell if my iPhone loves me?” was the third example I had, and had to trim one for length! Like minds…

      The answer, though, is that it’s programed to, forever, and you need never doubt it.


  7. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I know who Rebecca Black is. (hanging head)

    But who is this Jennifer Aniston woman you speak of?


  8. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    OK, so I guess I should be grateful that Paris Hilton has been very quiet lately. And that Snookie hasn’t been made an ambassador.


  9. Gow Says:

    I honestly don’t know what’s more pathetic, that droves of people are searching for these pop-culture yahoos or that they’re searching for yahoo itself. Except that the former makes me want to smack them in the head with a bag full of swarovski crystals and the latter makes me want to pat them on the head and put them aboard the short bus until they manage to figure out this digital chicken/egg conundrum.


  10. audreygjohnson Says:

    I’m liking your 2012 Search plan. Maybe we can also come up with a system to give a little electric jolt to anyone searching for search engines? Like an avoidance training method… It could work!


  11. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    I’m sure the rest of this post was great & witty, but as soon as a name like Kardashian registers in my head I can no longer concentrate……How DO these people become famous doing nothing? It doesnt compute, it’s like a one of those irritating Debbie Gibson songs that you cant get out of your head.

    Oh, since Smartitude is part attitude, will there be different categories, such as “pleasant” or “bad ass” smartitude?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      There’s a really interesting documentary from about 10 (?) years ago called Fame in the 20th Century. It argues that during that century fame stopped being a by-product (do something for which you get famous), and became a goal unto itself.

      And thus, Hiltons and Kardashians.


  12. topiclessbar Says:

    I’m gonna put on my elitist hat here for a second…maybe some people can’t handle the Internet, just as some can’t handle their diets or drinking alcohol. It could be for the good of certain folks that they have their computers taken away.

    “Sally, our data shows you spent hours every day reading about Lindsay Lohan…we’re going to have to take you laptop…it’s for your own good.”

    And then Sally becomes a genius!!! See what I’m saying? As always, absolutely hilarious post, start to finish.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I would like to purchase this hat you mention. Could you kindly direct me to the nearest search engine or haberdashery?

      But I know what you mean. “Excuse me, sir. I’m with the Department of Smartitude. I notice you’re texting the person sitting right next to you. I’m going to have to confiscate that phone.”


  13. Elyse Says:

    Smartitude could never lead to a George W Bush presidency. Not in a million years. Folks are too interested in folks that have no say in their lives and too little in those who DO.


  14. angrymiddleagewoman Says:

    Smartitude during an election year – now that’d be a first! 🙂


  15. The Good Greatsby Says:

    We call it the Information Age but it’s hard to exactly identify what we’re becoming more informed about or whether any of those informed topics we actually understand are in any way important. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying maybe we should change the name of the Information Age to something else.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I know what you mean – there’s no questions that we’re living in a pretty amazing, transformative era, but I don’t think you get to name it while its happening, otherwise every age would be “Age of Awesome People Who Defined Culture Forever.” That job seems to come later with benefit of seeing the age as a whole.


  16. pithypants Says:

    This makes me feel marginally better that the top search terms leading to my blog in 2011 were “Wow Chips,” “Cross-Eyed Flower Girl,” and “Cow Vagina.” Actually, this list would make a good challenge for NPR’s 3 Minute Fiction.


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