Life through Google's eyes

There's a short video floating around the internet at the moment titled "Life through Google's eyes" which is worth a quick look, if only to illustrate how tragically alienated some Westerners have become.

The substance of the film, which you can easily try yourself, is to type the words "I'm 16 and" and see what the Google autocomplete function offers up as the most common search terms.

Type "I'm 10 and" and your heart will almost break when the top Google result is "pregnant". It's the same for ages 11, 12, 13 and 14-year-olds.

As the film's creator Marius Buden notes - "using billions of searches, Google has prototyped an anonymous profile of its users".

Believe this and there are thousands, if not millions of pre-teen and teenage girls typing "I'm pregnant'' into Google wondering what the hell they're gonna do next.

What's sobering (and also a little sad) is that by age 15, the "I'm pregnant" search result begins to be displaced by "I've never had a girlfriend/boyfriend" or "I've never been kissed".

As the searchers move into their 20's it's "I still have acne", "I'm a virgin" and "I've got no friends".

By their late 20s searchers are saying "I have no career", "I am lost" and still, "I am a virgin".


By their late 30s searchers "want to have a baby" or are "still a virgin" and by late 40s it's "I've missed my period" or "I've stopped menstruating".

I encourage you to try the searches yourself. Type in "I'm 44 and" and then just alter the number and you'll see the concerns, fixations and fears of millions of people worldwide distilled into a few words.

Of course, we're only seeing English-language searches but it's a pretty sad sight to jump from searches at age 40, 50, 60, 70, even 80 and see "I am still a virgin" or "I have no friends" up there as the main results.

There's nothing rigorously scientific about this emotional census, but creator Buden explains he tried his best to get the cleanest results. 

"The queries are made in the 'incognito tab' with no user signed in, no cookies nor history and with a permanent paid VPN targeting the U.S. Even so there is a chance to get slightly different suggestions around the world due to location."

Wherever you are reading this, give it a go and you'll see a remarkable consistency in people's concerns about pregnancy, sex and loneliness.

It paints a rather grim picture of social isolation in the West but, then, at least people are not typing into Google "I'm hungry" or "I'm thirsty".

Guess, you'd sell your computer before it got to that stage.

What would your age-specific Google query be?

You can follow Sam on Twitter here. His email address is here.