Google is how we figure out whether the bump on our arm is cancerous or just a bug bite. It’s how we figure out how to dye our hair from home without completely damaging it. It’s how we figure out who’s dating who and who broke up with who.
But most importantly, Google is how we connect to a global world of news, trends, and stories.
The latest list of 2014’s top Google searches has already been released – and while there are categories for top athletes, top people, and even YouTube videos – here’s what really grabbed our global attention in 2014.
1. Robin Williams
It’s saddening when this year’s top Google searches has a death at number one. Especially that of a memorable acting legend. When news broke of Robin Williams’ death, on August 11, millions of fans took to social media to mourn. Cause of death was later confirmed to be suicide. Williams was best known for his roles in Flubber, as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, as Mrs. Doubtfire (in the movie of the same name), and as Peter Pan in Hook.
2. World Cup
Soccer (mostly known as Football) is one of the most loved sports around the world. So when FIFA started on June 12, you bet the team flags were out and the TVs were all tuned in. Hosted in Brazil, Germany took home the title. They beat Argentina 1 – 0 in the final.
It was this year’s number one pandemic – and number three on 2014’s top Google searches. People were freaking out. The media was freaking out. A frenzy of fear sprung up from the three-syllabic word, a frenzy similar to that of SARS.
Ebola was a disease that popped up in West African countries, killing thousands of civilians. It is essentially a disease with symptoms including muscle weakness and a fever. And despite some crazy beliefs, it was only contagious via bodily fluids (like spit) or having brief contact (shaking hands) with a contagious individual.
4. Malaysia Airlines
On March 8, a Boeing 777 plane took off from Malaysia headed for Beijing. There were 239 people on the flight. Within just a couple hours it disappeared off the radar. While pathways have been drawn to show the plane took a different route than its intended one, flight MH370 has yet to be found. Conspiracy theories are rampant, with some even claiming it’s a government coverup. The search for the missing flight has turned into the biggest game of hide and seek sweeping through the dangerous-untravelled waters near Australia.
5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
If you didn’t see any of your friends pour a bucket of ice-filled water over themselves: where have you been? The trend known as #ALSicebucketchallenge brought attention to a disease known as ALS or Amyotrophic latereal sclerosis (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Simply put, ALS affects nerve cells in the brain, which eventually affect the muscles in one’s body. This means, eventually individuals can’t use their hands or feet or move.
During the ice bucket challenge, friends, family, and celebrities alike participated.
6. Flappy Bird
Although the tapping-flapping app/game was developed in 2013, it gained huge recognition in the early stages of 2014. It was one of the most searched for games this year. Flappy Bird was so addictive the creator actually pulled the game off of the App Store and Google Play in February 2014!
7. Conchita Wurst
We live in a world that is slowly starting to accept all the different individuals out there. Conchita Wurst is one of those individuals. And it was her participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 that made huge waves this year. Openly gay, many conservative groups around the world didn’t support her, but there was definitely an overwhelming amount of support for Wurst during the competition. And despite the negativity, Wurst took home the prize on May 10.
ISIS – which was changed to ISIL and sometimes referred to as IS – made international headlines after a video was released that show the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley. Known as an anti-government rebellious group, that has been around for years but has only recently made headlines these past few months.
Did you know the director of Frozen actually apologized for the song “Let It Go”? If you haven’t watched the movie, you probably haven’t been spared this Disney classic song – which made the Top 40 charts. The film about two sisters (one without magic, one with ice powers), was a favourite amongst all ages this year. Why wouldn’t you love it: it has the cutest snowman ever!
10. Sochi Olympics
The Olympics are generally one of the most looked-forward too events, whether the summer or winter version. This year’s winter event, held in Sochi, Russia, was no exception. By the end of the two weeks, Russia came out on top with 13 gold medals (they were also number one with the most medals: 33). Norway followed in second with 11, and Canada with 10.
How many items on this list did you Google this year?
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