Searching for reason in 2017

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Google's annual report is a surprising best of compilation



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13 December 2017 | 0

Niall Kitson portraitThere’s nothing like the Google end of year list of trending searches to gladden my heart and remind me I haven’t totally lost touch with the nation. If anything, I find myself on trend. Here’s the short version of what we were thinking about in 2017.

Hurricane Ophelia unsurprisingly took the top spot, while Donald Trump proved again that his idiosyncratic approach to the US presidency makes for good box office by coming in second. Ireland’s depressing outings with Denmark that ended in failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia were third.

Netflix series 13 Reasons Why came in fourth place, occupying the same slot in the zeitgeist as Making a Murderer the year before. This was the streaming behemoth’s only entry on any of this year’s charts. Even the Internet’s favourite whipping boy Iron Fist didn’t get under our skin so much.

This decade’s Tamagotchi, the fidget spinner, was the fifth most searched for item, while industrial relations had their moment, with the Bus Eireann strike, the McGregor v Mayweather fight, Eurovision Song Contest and disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein rounded out the list.

Personally, I found the most searched movies list a more interesting read. Despite being dominated by genre fare, it was World War II drama Dunkirk that was the most searched-for movie of the year. The only other original films to make the top 10 were La La Land and Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. How Murder on the Orient Express placed eighth is beyond me – unless Agatha Christie has a huge fan base I’m not aware of. Conspicuous by their absence is the year’s most-anticipated film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Marvel’s excellent Spider-Man: Homecoming. I hadn’t noticed much online buzz about Hugh Jackman’s final turn as Wolverine in Logan but it seems to be a case of ‘right place, right time’ for the man also known as James Howlett.

From the ‘What is…?’ list, I was happy to see people still don’t know what a tracker mortgage is (fifth place). That people are searching for information on fidget spinners, teleporters and hurricanes would indicate we are in for some kind of natural disaster and all we can do is wait for technology to come up with a way to get us off-world or distract us so much that we won’t notice an extinction-level event.

Lastly, from the ‘How to…’ list I have to wonder what the obsession with slime is about. Goopy stuff has its place in the world, I have no idea why now is the time to shout about it.

So that was 2017 in a nutshell. Now let us never speak of it again. Unless you want to mention that Dublin won the All-Ireland. That never gets old.

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