Millennial Matters: Let’s stop asking the Internet ‘am I ugly?’
These are questions that, apparently, millions of users around the world come to Google for
“What do I want for my birthday”, “What do I want to be when I grow up”, and “What do I do with my life” are things Google’s autocomplete feature predicts you’d search for based on common and trending searches. Some predictions can be quite funny, while many others are very depressing, such as “Do I deserve love?”, “Do I deserve to be happy?”, “Am I depressed?” and “Am I ugly?”.
These are questions that, apparently, millions of users around the world come to Google for. The questions they ask themselves when they’re alone with the internet, the questions they hope a search engine could help them answer. Browsing the extremely large number of search results for these questions made me realize that nowadays, people would rather get help from internet articles and strangers than get help from their family and friends.
I decided to see what the answers are to these questions. “Am I ugly?” had about 59,800,000 results waiting for me to click on. Most results were quizzes, websites where you’d upload your pictures and receive opinions, and then I found a video of a little girl, about 7 years old, asking the internet: “Am I ugly? Please be honest”. Although some comments were positive, many comments were very, very harsh, and I imagine, not very helpful to this little girl’s big struggle to love herself.
I also found a large number of health-related questions. “Why does my heart hurt?”, “Why does my ear hurt?” and the list goes on, but almost every result suggests that you pay a visit to your healthcare provider, because internet articles cannot diagnose you, nor can they help you treat your concerns.
Why is the question of “Am I ugly” any different? Why aren’t we heading to the people who are there to help us, instead of heading to the Internet's collection of articles and comments, written by strangers who might not know how to help, or even intend to do us harm? We say that the internet has answers to almost every question, but it definitely does not have the answers to the questions that matter the most.
As American author Joyce Meyer once said, "you are not free until you have no need to impress anybody."