The rich are different from you and me, of course. But we all use the same Google. Its empty search box is the great leveler. But it so happens, as it always does, that the rich have distinguished themselves once again. They even google differently.
The New York Times’ Upshot compared common Google search terms from the most impoverished areas and the cushiest areas in America. People in poorer places are concerned about losing weight, health problems, and religion. The wealthiest are deeply concerned about the Canon Elph and jogging strollers.
A side-by-side comparison of the top-20 search terms used by people from different places on the wealth spectrum read like two very different games of Mad Libs. For example:
— The rich search for “holiday greetings” with the same frequency that the poor search for “severe itching.”
— Searches like “about hell,” “the antichrist,” and “dog benadryl” from the hard-scrabble communities show up with a rate similar to queries about three different camera speeds in rich areas.
— The wealthy want to know about “baby massage” as much as the destitute want to learn about “selling avon.”
— And for their respective sources of wisdom, the ranking of impoverished people’s searches for “old sayings” appears directly alongside rich people’s questions about “Zoolander.”
But don’t fear that people are so different from one another that even their search queries divide Americans beyond common ground. The Upshot reports that there are certain things — namely Oprah and the Super Bowl — that captivate everyone. These are the things that connect us all in our desire to seek and search onwards. We should hold them close and type them dearly.