Sunday, May 12, 2013

What Does Your Browser History Say About You?

Okay, so I clear my browser history every day. Mostly because my nine-year-old nephew often uses my computer, and there are things there that I don't want him to see. I'm already known as the relative who taught him the f-word at age three. Which, to be fair, was absolutely not my fault. I'd forgotten he was strapped into his kiddy seat in the back of my car. My invisible car, apparently, since a truck came out of a side street, completely didn't see me, and I had to brake and swerve off the road to avoid becoming a statistic. 

Then, while I was sitting there with my hands shaking on the steering wheel and my heart trying to break out from behind my ribs, a little voice piped up from the back seat: "Aunty Lisa, what's a fuck?" 

If I'd been able to think straight, I might have told him I said truck. 

So, six years down the track, and Tom uses my computer a lot. And, after one (fortunately closely monitored) incident where he wanted Google, typed "g" in the search bar and it defaulted to gaytube, I've learned to cover my tracks. 

But it did get me thinking about what my browser history says about me. 

Because, as a writer, I go off on whatever interesting tangent my imagination tells me to. A lot of the time this is porn. Which I can totally excuse as research, so there's that. But sometimes it's actual research, and I wonder what red flags are being raised when I spend a whole night searching "yellowcake" "armament factories" and "nuclear weapons". 

Surprisingly difficult to get information on the subject, to be honest. Unless you're a terrorist, I suppose, but maybe they don't use Google. Because I really want my guy to work in a factory that makes missiles, and even though I've found some great pictures, I'm pretty certain I need to know what those awesome-looking machines actually do before I write about them. I mean, it's only peripheral information, but I don't want to screw it up. 

Also, I don't want to get put on a no-fly list, so I don't know... 

Back to porn, I guess. 

Now, if you'll excuse me I need to delete my browser history before I get, "Aunty Lisa, what's an emergency twink?" 


  1. Um, this is brilliant. What did you tell Tom a fuck was? I told my younger brother the f-word was phooey when we were kids. Hilarity ensued.

    I have given up trying to delete my browser history. Yeah, the search bar defaults to gaytube, and spanktube. But I love how I can type a single letter in and Google knows just what I'm after!

    My favorite is when you start to type a question into Google (like "How can I get away with ripping people off?" during TGB research) and Google fills the rest in for you. Because you're not the first person to ask. It makes me feel connected to humanity.

    1. Phooey, that's hilarious!

      And I also love when google defaults to really weird stuff. I just put in "How do I" and got:
      1. How do I love thee
      2. How do I look
      3. How do I put this gently

      There's a whole story just waiting there!

    2. Forgot to add: I think I told Tom that fuck was a very bad word, and I shouldn't have said it. Mea culpa!

      Mind you, for several years we told him you had to be over thirty and a rock star before you were allowed to say rude words. He believed it for a while... :)

  2. LOL, How do I put this gently! I feel like there should be an app like Google translate, where you type in how you really feel about someone/something, and Google tells you how to put it gently.

    I like the rockstar idea. I would never have fallen for it, though. The adults in my family had zero groupies or platinum albums, and they were still always saying goddamn it.

    1. Yeah, the rockstar thing didn't work for very long at all... It was fun though.


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