They are subjects of the top five google searches as reported on Google Trends this morning. The other thing they have in common is that I had no idea of who they were, and I had to do web searches to figure out why so many people are interested in them. I've heard of Kate Upton, and I had a vague notion lodged somewhere in my diminishing memory stores that Jerry Jones had something to do with sports, but none of them really rang a bell with me.
I love Google Trends. I look at it every morning. I also glance over it in the evening before I get dressed for bed. Google Trends helps me put my life and my generation in perspective. It teaches me how little I know about the concerns, interests, and obsessions of other people. Since I have an interest in politics, I may care a great deal about who won the Kansas GOP primary for Senate which was held yesterday. But evidently that information is not of top concern to the nation and world at large.
It also reminds me that I'm aging, and that I don't have a grasp on what younger people talk about, think about, watch, or read. The median age in the U.S. is 37.6. This means that there are significantly more people younger than me than there are my age or older.
So I glance over Google Trends to find out what I don't know.
For those of you who, like me, don't follow the latest cultural news and gossip:
Becky Hammon has been hired as assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, a professional basketball team.
Kate Upton is in the news because of speculation that she may be pregnant.
Olivia Wilde is evidently in the public eye because of photos of her breast feeding her child.
Divergent is a popular dystopian science fiction novel and movie. The reason for the spike in web searches must be the movie's DVD and Blu-Ray release yesterday.
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was evidently photographed cavorting with young women.
I'm probably unusual even for my own generation. Celebrity doesn't fascinate me at all. There are quite a few actors and musicians whose work I admire. But I have absolutely no interest in their private lives. They could all be simultaneously cavorting with younger people while pregnant or breastfeeding and playing basketball with the cast of Divergent for all I care.
But Google Trends helps me understand what the public at large cares about. It isn't any less valid for other people to do web searches on whether Kate Upton is pregnant than it is for me to watch season one of The Wire on DVD for the third time. Both activities are forms of diversion. The more I know about what other people are searching for on the web, the more I understand the similarities and differences among people. And understanding is a good thing.