One of my favourite quotes from the Harry Potter series is by Sirius Black-
In the digital world, I do not think this quote holds true anymore. Considering our increasing online presence and the everlasting digital footprint, I’d like to modify the quote :
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at his browser history.”
Judging one on the basis of the content he or she consumes has been happening since time immemorial. The only difference I see is in the way we consume our content. Earlier, we would be judged on the basis of our reading choices, or our music choices. These would help others to get a clearer understanding of who we might be and put our personalities in one of the many frameworks that exist.
Today, we do the same by looking at someone’s search history. We can tell what the person’s likes and dislikes are, where he/she likes to shop, what kind of shows he/she streams and the food preferences of the particular person. This enables us to create a certain opinion, assume a behaviour pattern and facilitates meaningful and intelligible conversations. If everyone were to wear their search history on their sleeve, it would be as good as being the metaphorical open book. But alas, we are not like that. Humans, being the private and reserved species we are, or what we have been conditioned to be, are taught to hide our search histories. Perhaps this is out of fear. Fear of not seeming cool enough, fear of watching ‘lame’ shows or maybe fear of being caught doing something we were not ‘supposed’ to do.
I think society would be very interesting if we could strike up a conversation with a stranger about his browser history. It would make for some memorable dates, cool parties or even jazz up a dull Sunday on a bus stop. Why a stranger, even a conversation with your closest friends about search histories could end up being very interesting and help you connect with them on a deeper, closer level. Maybe try that next time, ask someone about their browser history and tell them about yours. Exchange notes on your usage of the internet and discuss it rather than becoming a subject of it by mindlessly scrolling through yet another social media site. Engage in social conversations about social media rather than actual social media. You might just end up having a stimulating conversation and go home with new content to explore.
Kreator: Trisha Welde