The benign “how-to” questions the world types into Google reveal our profound reliance on the internet.
New data shows we’re still desperate to know how to boil an egg and be a good kisser.
An interactive website from journalist Xaquin G.V. with Google’s News Lab compiled the world’s top 100 most searched “how-to” questions.
“[It highlights] how much we depend on search to know ‘how to do’ everyday things: those that existed before the internet, those we would actually ask our parents, family or friends,” the website reads.
“We have become so dependent on offloading, on relieving our brains from keeping certain basic, human information in storage, that we’ve forgotten how to do some fairly basic grown-up tasks.”
When it comes to repairing things around the home, “how to fix a wall” was the most searched how-to, followed by fixing doors and windows.
Australians were more likely to search “how to fix a fridge” than the rest of the world, as well as the sink and toilet.
Some of the top ‘how-to’ Google searches
- Boil eggs
- Impress a girl
- Tell if a guy likes you
- Write a letter
- Solve a Rubik’s Cube
- Be happy
- Lose weight
- Stop snoring
- Get rid of dandruff
When it comes to cooking, “how to make pancakes” and French toast were the two most searched queries. Woefully, “how to boil an egg” and “how to hard boil an egg” were among the most searched cooking how-to’s.
On matters of love, people were most likely to Google “how to kiss”, “how to get pregnant” and – poignantly – “how to love”.
Others included, “how to impress a girl” and “how to tell if a guy likes you”.
More practical questions on growing up were “how to make money” and “how to write a cover letter”.
The ways the internet has taken over was readily visible with the common search, “how to write a letter”.
The everyday basics were topped by “how to tie a tie”, and “how to draw”.
Unsurprisingly, the top health searches were related to weight and appearance. The most queried searches were how to: lose weight, lose belly fat, gain weight, and get rid of pimples.
Other top health searches included how to get rid of dandruff, and stop snoring.
The global data ignores language, according to the website.
“So when someone in the lusophone [Portugese speaking] world searches ‘Como beijar’ it will show up in Google’s ‘how to kiss’ search,” Mr G.V. explained.