A few days ago I published my thoughts on Google Zeitgeist 2012, musing on how despite the global economy, global culture and all that, some of the familiar national traits are still very much in evidence in everyday’s life. On Sunday morning I was browsing through the pages of The Sunday Times and I came across an item of news that demonstrated that such data is more than just a curiosity, but is in fact a very powerful barometer of societal changes.
Buried on page 29 of that paper, journalist John Harlow explained that USA college graduates have now become so accustomed to the culture of one night stands that they have lost any knowledge of how to date, to the point that they actually have to pay consultants to teach them how to do it.
Roll back to Google Zeitgeist 2012 and you’ll spot that the top USA search question under ‘How to’ was precisely ‘How to love’. Now, I doubt this was related to Lil Wayne’s rap, as this song came out in 2011, but more on how you can get closer to someone. As I don’t live in the USA and given that Google adjusts its search results to the country where you live my crude replica of that same search may not have yielded accurate results (even using an incognito browsing window), but it’s probably close enough for the purpose of this blog.
Alas, not even those countries previously associated with romance like France, Italy and even Spain seem to have an answer to this question these days, given that most of their folks seem to be more interested on how to lose weight, put makeup on, or make money. Has romance in the 21st century become another casualty of globalisation? For you to answer…
So, I am about to state the obvious now. Data like the one published by Google Zeitgeist isn’t just a little bit of fun, but should actually be used by marketing and PR professionals to anticipate trends, developing new services and communication opportunities.
Stop reading this blog then and pore over that all essential information; I have even given you the link.