For those without a TV, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or an internet connection, the only Vice Presidential debate scheduled for this election year took place last night. While most were probably checking out the fervid debate between their own Facebook friends and those they follow on Twitter, Google was turning it into something quite entertaining.
Google used their Google+ Politics & Elections profile as a platform to bring live updates on search terms to those who have them in their circles. Now, while I was using my smartphone during the debate, I was not Googling anything, especially shirtless Paul Ryan. (I promise.)
Taking a look at the top search terms from both sides of the aisle, it’s fairly obvious to see that the age discrepancy was clearly visible among Biden (69 years of age) and Ryan (42 years of age), then the terms begin to diverge. Biden searchers began looking for answers about his tendency to laugh at his opponent’s responses and investigate his wife. For those interested:
“Jill Tracy Biden is an American educator and, as the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is the Second Lady of the United States. She was born in Hammonton, New Jersey, and grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Wikipedia“
Ryan searches veered in a totally different direction, with people trying to find him shirtless. Those results must have been favorable, as the trend then moved to questions about his workout routine.
Once the initial infatuation with Paul Ryan’s physique started to die down, debate watchers appeared to start actually paying attention to what was being said:
It seems as though people started to get a little stumped by the language being tossed around and went searching for definitions so they could better understand the arguments being made.
1: to bring together :fuse2: to combine (as two readings of a text) into a composite wholeExample:Be careful not to conflate gossip with real news.Popularity:Conflate is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 59th most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com1: insincere or foolish talk : bunkumExample:He thinks everything politicians say is just a bunch of malarkey.Popularity:Malarkey is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 10th most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com