Is Britney bigger than global warming?

Whenever there is a topic that sparks debate in our house we usually need information to help resolve the issue. My wife will often jump up and announce that “the Google Gods will know” and, sure enough, they do. She will skip back after a minute or two on the browser with a useful answer.

Recently I discovered that the Google have made available a really neat tool in Adwords that estimates of the number of times people type key words into search engines (go to Adwords then click on Get keyword ideas). That’s all searches, not just those taking the heat out of dinner discussions.

My curiosity aroused I typed ‘environmental problems’ into the key word field and the software returned a respectable 74,000 searches per month. Then I tried ‘climate change’ and returned 823,000 followed by ‘global warming’ for a sizable 3,350,000.

Clearly we are worried about things getting warmer.

I took encouragement from this result – three million souls a month are curious enough to ask the Google Gods a question on an environmental issue.

Then I went mad and typed ‘Britney Spears’ and yes, the answer you were expecting…. 9,100,000 per month. Nearly half the population of Australia type in this search once a month – Ouch! If you add ‘Paris Hilton’ who manages a paultry 6,100,000 requests, we are looking at enough requests for every adult Australian. Even the celeb blogger ‘Perez Hilton’ manages to get 2,240,000 searches per month.

Bizarre as it this result appears, we did not need the Google Gods to explain this one. It is escapism. We can escape our worries and concerns for our own lives, and any lingering worry about the planet, through a fascination with celebrity. The thing that amazed me was that we do it a lot.

It may just be hierarchy of needs and avoidance of pain, but I reckon it is worth a thought.
Either that or Britney is bigger than global warming.

M

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