Before you do this, BEWARE: some things cannot be unseen.
You might not think about the ramifications of what you type into Google. It’s a terrifying thought and it’s best not dwelled upon. You input some inane, horrendous, disgusting, sexy, or otherwise weird query into their search engine, and it’s gone forever once you get rid of the tab or navigate away to your search result.
The query – that thing you actually typed out with your own fingers – is lost for good, broken apart into individual letters and re-absorbed into the matrix. The circle of life. Sunrise, sunset. Dust in the wind. That’s how it works, right?
Google does not discard anything. Google sees everything you type. Google has been watching everything you ask of it for years. And it’s been keeping records of everything. EVERYTHING.
Very quietly, Google has begun lifting the lid on your own sordid internet pasts, reminding you of every single shameful thing you’ve ever wanted to know slightly more about.
Google History has rolled out a download feature, enabling you to create an archive of the stored searches you’ve been plugging in for years in one horrendous compressed file of your lowest and weirdest moments. It’s something of a marvel that it’s not labelled HallOfShame.zip.
If you’re absolutely curious or sadistic enough to want to delve into your own internet past, you simply log in to Google History, hit the settings cog to the right, and select download. Once the archive arrives, it’ll contain a whole bunch of .json files, which you can open in a text editor and search for “query_text” to see all the muck that’s fit to rake.
And unless you’ve been wise to it and have been browsing incognito, nothing is safe. Think it’s not going to be quite so bad because you’ve been using multiple devices, phones, different computers and such over the years? Guess a-fucking-gain.
Think it’s not going to be *that* bad, regardless? Here’s some greatest hits from this writer’s own personal collection.
- “Jon Hamm penis”
- “Many unsuspecting foxes”
- “Why does my stomach shake?”
- “Fingers on the right hand won’t stop itching”
- “A big thirsty teddy bear”
- “Does Nick Jonas really have huge nipples?”
And that was all from ONE WEEK.
Google History is here. Go see for yourself if you dare.