Things are awful and weird in the United States right now. Even something as benign as a random Google search proves it. 

Amanda Guinzburg, or @Guinz on Twitter, posted the autofill of a simple search. Guinzburg had simply typed: “Do I .” The autofill results were wild. 

Do I have a coronavirus? Do I get a stimulus check? Do I qualify for a stimulus check? Do I qualify for unemployment? Do I have ADHD? Do I have anxiety? Do I have COVID? 

Truly, it’s a snapshot of this harrowing moment in America. Only the penultimate autofill result is harmless, a guess that Guinzburg was searching for lyrics to the Arctic Monkeys’ song “Do I Wanna Know.” 

Amanda Guinzburg@Guinz

This is a poem about America.

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435K 8:29 AM – Jul 8, 2020

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I tried to recreate the search from Guinzburg. My results were slightly different and reflected my location, but otherwise had a number of the same Google auto-fills. Pretty much everything was related to COVID, the economy, mental health, and, yes, the Arctic Monkeys. 

My recreation of the viral search.
My recreation of the viral search.

I reached out to Guinzburg, who said she’s “a little obsessed with Google searches as an obvious window into the zeitgeist.” 

“Every few weeks I enter really basic words like ‘will I’ or ‘How to do’ or ‘Are we’ into the search and what shows up, particularly in the last 4 years, tends to be pretty chilling,” she wrote in an email. 

“I think as isolated as most of us are right now, and have been for the last four months, there’s a clamoring to feel seen,” she added. “The mirror we normally take for granted, of ourselves, reflected through the faces looking back at us of other people, has been hidden because (most of us!) have been quarantined or 6 feet apart behind masks.”

Amanda Guinzburg@GuinzReplying to @Guinz


Thanks for coming to this tweet. I have many SoundCloud.The Buy from a Black Woman DirectoryThe Buy from a Black Woman Directory is your online resource for discovering businesses owned and operated by Black Women Business

870 9:26 AM – Jul 8, 2020

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Other folks online were quick to point out other similar searches on Google yielded similarly bleak results in response to the original viral tweet. 

Sven the Human@spacedentistReplying to @Guinz

Part 2.

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4,953 8:56 AM – Jul 8, 2020

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Dr. John Barentine FRAS@JohnBarentineReplying to @Guinz @senyorreporter

America in 2020 really wants to know.

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703 11:44 AM – Jul 8, 2020

52 people are talking about this

Gotta put the important shit first.

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102 10:46 AM – Jul 8, 2020

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Guinzburg did manage to find a small positive takeaway from the autofill results. At the very least, they show that we’re not suffering alone.

“One of the loneliest feelings in the world is a google search that doesn’t autocomplete… so the reverse is also true when you see yourself reflected in the aggregate… it’s comforting,” Guinzburg wrote.


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