Friday, July 29, 2011

The perils of the Google Image search and reasons the government will be coming to take me away.

Writers, beware.

Our chosen profession / hobby / compulsion brings us to many, many places on internet search engines we thought we'd never go.

And because of this, at least once a month, one of two things happens:
Search at your own risk. Seriously.

(1) I gag and nearly get sick at my computer because of a gross picture.

(2) I'm convinced that some government agency is going to come knocking on my door to take me away.

On extra special months when I'm being really productive, both of those things happen.

I've been writing seriously since 2008, and in the past three years, for various reasons, I've found myself Googling (and, God forbid, Google Image searching) things like...
  • FBI and CIA protocol
  • various types of weaponry, including photos and usage
  • lyme disease and many other diseases
  • effects of various drugs and what certain pills look like
  • electrical burns and being electrified
  • INTERPOL and the ability to arrest a criminal out-of-country
  • the strength of tasers, and how it feels to be tased
  • counterfeit money, and how to tell the difference
  • drug and alcohol tolerance levels
  • political scandals and blackmailing political leaders
  • finding people in witness protection
  • kinds of fractures
  • hit and run accidents, damage to vehicles from hitting pedestrians
  • cult mentality, cult leaders
  • types of torture, with details

Nope, that doesn't look suspicious or illegal AT ALL. And it's pretty clear which of those medical-related things had me gagging.

I'm convinced that all those government programs that weed through data to find terrorists and whatnot literally have a special filter for people like me.

It disregards all people whose computers have those kinds of strange and incriminating searches PLUS has an internet history of writing-related topics.

There must be some sort of folder we get put into: NOT DANGEROUS, JUST A WRITER.

What's the craziest thing you've searched for? Anything you regret doing an image search for? Let us learn from your mistakes!

(For example ... do NOT search for skin diseases or electrical burns unless you have a strong and empty stomach. And sometimes, even researching non-skin diseases brings up skin disease pictures.)

PS - This post was inspired by this Gchat conversation between Frankie and I while Frankie was researching a new idea:
i just googled burned face
i might throw up

omg i did that before for a book
also googled other skin ailments
bad news bears



  1. DO NOT do a Google image search for spider bites. I am still recovering!

  2. I actually had to research types of accelerants along with ways to start fires remotely. I was really hoping no one was monitoring my search history.

  3. Not writing related, but the other day I wanted to order seeds for my fall garden. I typed "cheap seeds" into google and bunch of sites about growing marijuana came up. Even worse - I was at work!!!

  4. I was researching illegal residents and what happens to people without citizenship-- I mean, not just illegal immigrants, but people who have no country to go back to if they're caught. It's a scary, scary world for them.

    as far as running across shocking images goes, honestly-- google image searching for Leda and the Swan is not for the easily offended.

  5. I've been working on something with a military setting. I've also been Googling weapons and war zones.

    I, too, worry that someone will look at my search history and think I need to be interrogated!

  6. Lenore - Ohhhhhh just the thought of insects and insect bites makes me cringe!!!

    DK - That is totally government-shady.

    Melissa - I've had a couple accidentally-scandalous work searches, too!

    Anonymeet - Weapons and war zones -- yep, you're a suspicious one! hehe

    Everyone else --- replies via email! Thanks for commenting!

  7. I will learn from your mistakes!


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