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I am so lonely.
June 21, 2005 9:27 AM   Subscribe

"I am so lonely." Search Google using that phrase and you may end up here. Some of the posts in this thread really resonate, "I feel so much better that I am not the only one that typed in "I am lonely" on google. How pathetic that I have nothing better to do. It is amazing that I can be so extremely successful at work and so lonely at home."
posted by VelvetHellvis (51 comments total)

 
This is a lot sadder than the disintegrating bicycle.
posted by item at 9:38 AM on June 21, 2005


Sad, but fascinating, at least to me. The idea that people are typing their feelings into google ("I am so lonely") rather than actual search requests (say, something like "loneliness support group") is a really interesting psychological / sociological phenomenon.

It's almost as if there's a segment of the population that is SO lonely that they think of google as a "friend" rather than as a "tool."

Or something. What the hell do I know...
posted by dersins at 9:52 AM on June 21, 2005


I know I've typed "I am so bored" into google quite a few times.
posted by delmoi at 9:54 AM on June 21, 2005


It is amazing that I can be so extremely successful at work and so lonely at home

Ah, the plaintive cry of the Greater Spotted Workaholic. Dude. It really isn't amazing at all, you know.
posted by Decani at 9:55 AM on June 21, 2005


My site used to be the first search result for "are you there?" (now it's the fifth). My website stats told me about 20-30 people typed that into google and click on my website in three months time. I always thought it was strange.
posted by daninnj at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2005


I used to type random words into the URL line to see what was on the other end. That's how I came across Nerve.com. Strangely, there is no ILoveAmerica.com though. Thought the Freepers would have secured that one ages ago.

Strange, the second hit for "Why are you lonely?" is How to Become a Christian. That's creepy.
posted by fenriq at 10:37 AM on June 21, 2005


The Police's Andy Summers likes to play really small blues and jazz venues with younger musicians, staying in crappy hotels with the band despite being a millionaire and being almost 60. an acquintance of mine has played "So Lonely" with Summers
Now no-one’s knocked upon my door
For a thousand years, or more
All made up and nowhere to go
Welcome to this one man show
Just take a seat, they’re always free
No surprise, no mystery
In this theatre that I call my soul
I always play the starring role, so lonely
So lonely, so lonely, so lonely
So lonely, so lonely, so lonely
So lonely, so lonely, so lonely
So lonely, so lonely
So lonely
So lonely, so lonely, so lonely
So lonely, so lonely, so lonely
I feel lonely, I’m so lonely, I feel so low
I feel lonely, I’m so lonely, I feel so low
posted by matteo at 10:38 AM on June 21, 2005


It's almost as if there's a segment of the population that is SO lonely that they think of google as a "friend" rather than as a "tool."

I think it's more the human characteristic of writing out negative phrases. I don't know how many times in school I doodled "I am so bored", complete with turtles crawling out of the letters or some guy standing on the letters, but I never thought I was communicating with the paper. I notice that I've never doodled "I am so happy" or "This is so fun", though. When happy or having fun, the writing out of the phrase doesn't seem to be instinctual.
posted by Bugbread at 10:54 AM on June 21, 2005


I used to write "I am bored" to the command prompt back in the DOS days.
posted by callmejay at 10:57 AM on June 21, 2005


Just what MeFi needs, yet another Kottke link. (3rd in my Google results)
posted by revgeorge at 11:00 AM on June 21, 2005


See Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, or The Social Capital Foundation.

It's almost as if there's a segment of the population that is SO lonely that they think of google as a "friend" rather than as a "tool."

Depending on my frame of mind, I've tried plenty of unusually phrased searches, just looking for the same copy. What's interesting to me is how a search engine is often a person's final object of desperation. If I were an optimist, I'd say it points to the social power of the Web. If.

It's almost like a religion. "Even if I don't really believe it'll work, why not fire off a prayer (or search query) just in case?" I wonder how many people have found salvation via Google...

on preview: Just what MeFi needs, yet another Kottke link. (3rd in my Google results)

Get over it. We don't read Kottke. And we don't need post Nazis. Sheesh.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:07 AM on June 21, 2005


revgeorge : "Just what MeFi needs, yet another Kottke link. (3rd in my Google results)"

??

I'm taking it that your comment was a joke? The only Kottke link in the thread is yours...
posted by Bugbread at 11:16 AM on June 21, 2005


Get over it. We don't read Kottke. And we don't need post Nazis. Sheesh.

Amen mrgrimm... hey you don't like the post? Click "back" and go look at something else.

That said... great post and a fascinating topic. Of course, I'm sure you found it by doing it, right Velvit? That's alright dude at least it wasn't the first link when you google i am so hot
posted by AspectRatio at 11:18 AM on June 21, 2005


It's almost as if there's a segment of the population that is SO lonely that they think of google as a "friend" rather than as a "tool."

I know someone who buys things on Ebay, just to get feedback. "I am an excellent buyer! I have great communication!"
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:20 AM on June 21, 2005


I used to run a project on Diaryland that tracked the weird Google searches people would get in their Sitemeters. It was really interesting to see how many people would type things into Google as though they are talking to a therapist.
posted by angeline at 11:21 AM on June 21, 2005


I thought one of these links would have something to do with Kim Jong-Il.
posted by clevershark at 11:31 AM on June 21, 2005


"loneliness support group" just got me 28 results world-wide; narrowing it to my state narrowed the results to two, neither of them very helpful. Further narrowing it to my city got me nada.

Without the quotes around "loneliness support group" I do get a few support groups, but those are for "divorce recovery", widowed folks, those who've had kids die, etc. Relying on typing those words into Google would leave me hard poressed to find a support group for people who are just plain lonely.

On the other hand there are lots of support groups around here; besides the aforementioned, there're groups for Chron's Disease, Asperberger's Syndrome, Gay/Lesbian people, unfulfilled grandparents, etc. etc. etc.

But me, maybe I'd need to join a Goth or SciFi club instead. Or get some kind of religion.

(Now try Googling "I have size 9 feet" or "I wear size 9 shoes".)
posted by davy at 11:32 AM on June 21, 2005


But what if you're both sad and lonely?
posted by Jart at 11:48 AM on June 21, 2005


Hey Jart, are you tryin' to tell me something?
posted by davy at 11:55 AM on June 21, 2005


This reminds me of a post made recently by a soldier in Iraq that I know.

Lost, scared, and lonely.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:57 AM on June 21, 2005


So stickycarpet, what sorts of things does this "friend" buy?

Nobody likes me
Everybody hates me
Guess I'll go and eat some worms!
Long Ones
Short Ones
Skinny Ones
Fat Ones
Guess I'll go and eat some worms!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:01 PM on June 21, 2005


I know this Zen Monk that lives at his priory up in the hills here in Oregon. People visit from the surrounding cities, while he oversees daily prayers and meditations. What has always stuck with me is the image of him alone at night, every night, up on that hill. Yet he is one of the most contented souls (well no duh I guess, the man's a monk) I have ever met.

That notion of finding contentment in something that as a modern culture we fear and or suffer from is quite humbling.

& no this isn't a plug for joining your local Zen Temple.

& for you lonely folk out there, supply the beer and we'll come over for Game 6 against the Spurs.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 12:29 PM on June 21, 2005


AspectRatio, this was my initial search string. Looking for the aforementioned, Police song. That got me thinking about the times I've typed random thoughts into Google like "I'm bored" and so I just typed "I am lonely" to see what would happen and the accidental thread started by that search string really intrigued me--enough to post to MeFi. And I'm a dudette, not a dude.
posted by VelvetHellvis at 12:38 PM on June 21, 2005


Google is your friend.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:42 PM on June 21, 2005


All the lonely people...where do they all come from?
posted by SisterHavana at 1:07 PM on June 21, 2005


Phew. My blog isnt on the first page of the search results. A little bit surprising, yet stragely reassuring at the same time.
posted by SirOmega at 1:08 PM on June 21, 2005


*strangely (yea yea, i need to use spell check)

Oh well, I guess being the owner of a lonely heart is much better than being the owner of a broken heart. Right?
posted by SirOmega at 1:35 PM on June 21, 2005


Good post, thanks.
posted by Outlawyr at 1:40 PM on June 21, 2005


bugbread: "I'm taking it that your comment was a joke? The only Kottke link in the thread is yours..."

When I clicked on "that phrase" in the FPP the third result was that Kottke link, which was funny because of the number of times he gets linked here, but not so much since I started explaining the joke.
posted by revgeorge at 1:56 PM on June 21, 2005


Whoa, my snark just went off target and hit a busload full of orphans. That really was a joke. Well played (I like the stealthy jokes)
posted by Bugbread at 2:10 PM on June 21, 2005


Oh well, I guess being the owner of a lonely heart is much better than being the owner of a broken heart. Right?

"it is better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all."

or something like that.
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 2:16 PM on June 21, 2005


My domain name is doyoufeelloved.com, and I'm constantly getting Google searches for people typing in the phrase "when will i be loved" or similar concepts. Indeed, sometimes I even get e-mail from people feeling lonely and unloved, despite the fact that my site is clearly a personal blog (largely about comics and music, for God's sake) and not an advice column. I've gotten a couple of e-mails -- generally around the holidays -- that are just fucking heartbreaking. I never know what to do about them -- I feel like I can't write back without making the person feel stupid for ever getting in touch with me (i.e. they thought I was some kind of therapist, and are then going to learn I'm a twentysomething loser in Brooklyn).
posted by logovisual at 2:56 PM on June 21, 2005


When I clicked on "that phrase" in the FPP the third result was that Kottke link, which was funny because of the number of times he gets linked here, but not so much since I started explaining the joke.

well, I got it.
posted by puke & cry at 3:09 PM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


What sort of abridged music service did you subscribe to as a kid, Pollomacho? Everyone knows it's "Long thin slimy ones, short fat juicy ones, itsy-bitsy-fuzzy-wuzzy worms"
posted by dagnyscott at 3:37 PM on June 21, 2005


matteo - Along with "bed's too big without you" "so lonely" is my favorite Police song.
:)
posted by Radio7 at 3:43 PM on June 21, 2005


Maybe I'm just odd, but while I live alone, I'm never lonely. I have my hobbies, my books, my writing, and a house/small farm to keep up, so I'm rarely if ever bored, and loneliness just doesn't seem to creep into my equation.

While I hope to find someone I can't live without, so far I've not found anyone I want to live with. I tend to be the one to break off relationships, though I usually have a girlfriend around somewhere.

Growing up, I hated living with my family, and a goal was to be independent and live alone, and having reached that goal, I've found it to be a good one.

Maybe, like that monk Mr Bluesky wrote about above, I am content with what I have, and that's a good thing.
posted by Blackanvil at 5:05 PM on June 21, 2005


I am so horny has no result this interesting.
So clearly, Google is my friend, not my lover.
posted by mr.marx at 5:09 PM on June 21, 2005


Ziggy, nice try, but that's such BS.
posted by sachinag at 5:12 PM on June 21, 2005


I think traditionally, a "loneliness support group" would be found populating your local bar & grill. :)

However, it's interesting how finding some cool friends and having hobbies and other stuff to keep you busy usually still isn't enough to keep you from being lonely occasionally.

Social critters, we are.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:28 PM on June 21, 2005


what if you are sad, lonely, and a total failure?
posted by Grod at 5:48 PM on June 21, 2005


what if you are sad, lonely, and a total failure?

Then you get on the Internet and get a Metafilter account! (Right, ParisParamus?)
posted by davy at 6:35 PM on June 21, 2005


This is for all the lonely people
Thinking that life has passed them by...



Selling stuff on ebay just to get feedback reminds me of when I was a kid, how on Labor Day I used to call the Jerry Lewis Telethon and "donate" a large sum of money so I could hear my name on TV.
posted by Oriole Adams at 6:40 PM on June 21, 2005


whoa, googling "i am so horny" and clicking on the femalefirst links will get you to some forums with some VERY interesting posts =O
posted by Lectrick at 7:38 PM on June 21, 2005


logovisual, your story reminded of me of an article in Slate about the guy who runs tired.com. He bought the domain as a lark and set up the home page with the message "Are you tired? Tell us why." as a joke. He's been getting about 100 emails a week since 1997.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:13 PM on June 21, 2005


This is the best worst thing to happen since hopkin green frog. Thanks for the link.
posted by moift at 11:36 PM on June 21, 2005


Just to rub it in, the Google ad reads:

Is your lover cheating?
If you need to know for sure if your lover is cheating, look now.

Charming.
posted by Tarn at 11:38 PM on June 21, 2005


Setup a thingy on trendwatcher to track to number of sites over time that contain the phrase I am so lonely, might take a few hours for the graphs to populate, will be interesting to see over time :)
posted by leighm at 12:31 AM on June 22, 2005


"However, it's interesting how finding some cool friends and having hobbies and other stuff to keep you busy usually still isn't enough to keep you from being lonely occasionally."

Well said.
posted by Eamon at 9:01 AM on June 22, 2005


Ditto on occasionally googling "I am so bored."

And being spectacularly disappointed that no one has thought to link anything interesting to that phrase.

Just to rub it in, the Google ad reads:

Is your lover cheating?


Being lonely with someone is far worse than being lonely on your own.
posted by dreamsign at 10:53 AM on June 22, 2005


I've typed things like that into Google, and it wasn't because I think Google is my friend, it was because I wanted to see if there are other people who were thinking and/or feeling the same way as I was, and if so, if they'd said anything insightful or helpful about it.

Usually they haven't -- they've said stuff, but it's neither insightful nor helpful - but you never know. It's depressing how lame most comments on emotional states are. Full of cliches, or meaningless "supportive" posts like, "Hugs!!!! :)" That sucks when you're craving something that can reach inside and tweak you, like an emotional chiropractor.
posted by Maudie at 8:24 PM on June 23, 2005


I've typed things like that into Google, and it wasn't because I think Google is my friend. It's because I want to see if there are other people who were thinking and/or feeling the same way I was, and if so, if they'd said anything insightful or helpful about it.

Usually they haven't -- they've said stuff, but it's neither insightful nor helpful - but you never know. It's depressing how lame most comments on emotional states are. Full of cliches, or meaningless "supportive" posts like, say, "Hugs!!!! :)" That sucks when you're craving something good.
posted by Maudie at 8:26 PM on June 23, 2005


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