Culture

From Covid To Zoom Dating, Google Reveals What We Were All Googling In 2020

Google searches have become a sort of cultural thermometer that tell us what people are interested in. Obviously, 2020 has been been unlike any ar that any of us have lived before. And the Google data reflects that, as it details not only our likes and dislikes but also our hopes and our fears.

Based on Google’s report on the Year in Search, we see just how difficult 2020 has been for so many of us. But we also see in the data a resilience and hope for the future.

Also, given that many top search spot are taken by Latino artists and musicians, it’s evident that Latino culture is alive and well, despite an onslaught of attacks on our community and culture. Here’s some of the top Google searches from a year that will go down in history as one of the craziest ever.

The Top Ten searches offer proof of just how intense 2020 really was.

The top ten searches in the U.S. this year reflect two of the biggest stories of 2020: the pandemic and the presidential election. The Google lists are based on the searches that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year, so they discount terms that are generally searched every year.

This tumultuous year has resulted in some pretty bleak top search results, with “stimulus checks” and “unemployment” among the top news stories, as well as “Australia fires” and “murder hornets,” on top of everything coronavirus-related.

The most searched term was “election results,” with “who is winning the election,” taking seventh place, perhaps reflecting how long it took for the official results to be announced.

The word “coronavirus” was understandably in second place, with “coronavirus update” and “coronavirus symptoms” taking fourth and fifth place, respectively, followed by “Zoom” in sixth place, in a year where we have had to connect virtually amid social-distancing and self-isolation.

Plenty of Latinos also took top search spots on Google, reflecting how we as a community are more important than ever.

In a year of catastrophic loss, one loss seems to have struck a major chord among all of us – the tragic loss of Naya Rivera. The former Glee star was the 8th most searched topic in all of 2020 as people looked for information on her untimely death.

And props to Shakira, who became the 7th most searched person in 2020, thanks in part to her history-making Super Bowl half time performance with Jennifer Lopez – which also saw J Balvin and Bad Bunny make an appearance.

Of course, the Coroanvirus pandemic greatly affected our Google searches this year.

The effect of the pandemic can be seen in a spike in searches for all things virtual, with the U.S. searching for virtual museum tours, virtual classroom, and even virtual marriage.

The pandemic and its subsequent stay-at-home orders have also influenced the most popular “how-to” searches of the year, from “how to cut men’s hair at home” to “how to make hand sanitizer.”

The growing Black Lives Matter movement also helped change Google’s search data in 2020.

From the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd to Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, the police killings of unarmed Black Americans has many of us looking for answers and solutions.

Both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery made the top ten most searched deaths in 2020, pointing to people’s interest in their stories.

But amid all the loss and pain of 2020, the hope and resilience also shines through.

There’s no denying that 2020 was one hell of a year. With so many people out of work, struggling to feed their families, in the hospitals battling for their lives, or simply trying to exist in the U.S. as a Black American, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

However, our Google searches also point to a strong sense of hope and resilience that should give all of us reason to celebrate the future. From vaccines for COVID-19 that were developed at a record-breaking speed to history-making searches for “how to help…,” it’s obvious that the human spirt and desire to keep moving forward is alive as it ever was.

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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These Were The Moments That Defined Latin America In 2020 That Weren’t About COVID-19

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These Were The Moments That Defined Latin America In 2020 That Weren’t About COVID-19

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

2020 will easily go down in manny of our memories as the year that just wouldn’t stop. As the year started, it all seemed to be sort of fine as the world came together to battle record-breaking Australian bushfires and worked to hopefully contain an outbreak of a strange new virus in China.

However, as the year comes to a close things have gone de mal a peor for the world in general, but for the Latino population in the United States and Latin America as a region in particular. Though it’s hard to realize just how much we all witnessed and experienced since so much of what happened seems like it was a lifetime ago.

Here’s a look back at some the defining moments from 2020 across Latin America.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira kicked off the year hopeful with a history-making performance at the Super Bowl.

Yes, believe it or not, this happened in 2020. The pair put on what many have called the best half time show in Super Bowl history. They were also joined by J Balvin and Bad Bunny.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales was forced into exile, only to return to the country in November.

After being forced into exile at the end of 2019 for attempting to illegally run in upcoming presidential elections, Morales spent a year abroad – first in Mexico and then in Argentina.

Mexico’s President AMLO made his first trip abroad to visit Donald Trump at the White House.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a staunch populist and has long said his primary focus is domestic policy within Mexico. Therefore, despite two years in office, AMLO hadn’t left Mexico once. So it came as a surprise when his first trip abroad was a visit to the U.S. leader who had long disparaged Mexico, the government, and Mexicans – not to mention his trip came in the middle of a global pandemic.

Migrant caravans continued to make their way towards the U.S. despite interference from Mexico and Covid-19.

Migrants attempting to make their way to the U.S. isn’t unique to 2020. For decades, migrants have long banded together for safety in numbers along the treacherous journey to the north. However, they became larger and better organized in 2020, perhaps owing to the new dangers of Mexican interference.

Mexico’s AMLO vowed to stop migrants from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, adhering to Trump’s request. It was also noteworthy because the caravans continued despite the Covid-19 crisis, which has hit the region particularly hard.

Peru saw three presidents in the span of a few weeks after massive protests.

Peru is facing one of the greatest crises the nation has faced. Just as the country seemed to be emerging from the worst of its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has entered a severe political crisis.

The country’s elected president, Martin Vizcarra, was impeached and removed from office. His predecessor responded with a heavy hand to the protests that ensued resulting in his resignation less than 24 hours later. The government then had to find someone willing to take the job which proved to be a tough sell.

In fact, massive protests swept across Latin America.

From Mexico in the north to Cuba in the Caribbean and Chile in the south, protests were seen all across the region. Although each movement had it’s own stated goal and objectives, many were largely borne out of the same purpose: to fight back against corruption.

Brazil’s President Jaír Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 but it did nothing to change his approach to the pandemic.

Jaír Bolsonaro has long been compared to Donald Trump, with many calling him the Donald Trump of South America. The two were also strongly aligned in their responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the pair largely downplaying the severity of the crisis.

Then, Bolsonaro became infected with the virus and many hoped it would change his view on the crisis. It didn’t.

A growing feminist movement developed in Mexico, demanding protection from a shocking rise in violence against women.

Mexico has long been battling endemic violence and the country has continued to see record-setting rates of homicides. But it was the growing rate of violence against women, particularly femicide, that gained national attention.

Women banded together and started large nationwide protests. Over the summer, women in the capital of Mexico City occupied government buildings and destroyed many of the city’s most popular monuments to hopefully get their message across. Although the movement has gained more recognition by Mexicans, the government has still failed to address their concerns. Let’s hope things are different in 2021.

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