What Does My Google Autofill Say About Me? (a little Friday Feature nonsense)

I have come to love the google autofill function for sites I frequent. This is partly because I have filled the little avatar-button toolbar thing on my browser. This means that I have 60+ sites that I visit frequently enough that I need shortcuts for, which I find a little depressing. And perhaps a little revealing.

Based on the Google Autofill list I created (see below, alphabetical), about 1/4 of my single-letter searches are about managing my world, including email. Teaching links and links to words and books (libraries, bookstores, and Goodreads) are tied with my news-hunting links at 18% each. Entertainment–just Netflix and Youtube–is a low category, as is non-books shopping. And C.S. Lewis is only a single occurrence, Joel Heck’s helpful resource site. A two-finger type would get me to lewisiana.nl, but all other Lewis and Inklings sites–and all my academic connections–are done through social media or the WordPress networking capabilities.

I think this particular list, however, underrepresents my news patterns and the amount of teaching work I do at different schools. So I decided to run the same chart with the button shortcuts included. In doing so, I separated out email from management things, and found I have 7 email links! The Words & Books section erupted to 1/4 of my shortcuts, mostly because I find books in a lot of different formats from various sources. News and Politics shrunk in the new chart, going down to 11% of my links (and that’s including weather). My social media connections are tight, limited to 3 sites. It is Teaching that explodes, so that 28% of my shortcuts are teaching related. This comes from teaching with five different schools, I suppose.

What this chart doesn’t represent is the amount of time involved in each kind of project. On my computer, I rarely use Netflix (which appears twice), but Youtube might be running in the background with music for hours at a time. Most of my work is book-related (Teaching and Books sections, 52%) or email (11%). I forgot to include in the chart my own blogging links, which would make up 4-5% of my shortcuts, and about that much of my time.

News & Politics still sits uncomfortably with me. I only spend a few moments on these sites, but they are part of an unhealthy patterning. When things are happening, I check them almost obsessively; when I forget the world I forget it utterly and would miss a life-changing event. Perhaps I should look for balance in the year ahead!

What happens when you psychoanalyze your search patterns? What does it say about you or the work you do?

My Autofill List





etymonline.com (I love words)

fivethirtyeight.com (awesome stats nerds)


h – none (well, actually, every site came up as http…)

i – none (redoing the test I got indigo.ca–another book company)

joelheck.com (a great C.S. Lewis resource)



moodle (various schools)




Queen Elizabeth Hospital (various links)



theguardian.pe.ca (my local approximation of a newspaper)

UPEI (various links)


webmail (government)

x – none


z – none

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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11 Responses to What Does My Google Autofill Say About Me? (a little Friday Feature nonsense)

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Is “autofill” something like a bookmark? I’m not exactly sure what it means…


    • I don’t know what the full name is. I start typing and Chrome finishes my address. These are one-letter autofills, but as I type Google goes through my history to get me there as quickly as it can. I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookstooge says:

        Gotcha. Now I do know what you’re talking about. A mix of bookmarks and history.

        I regularly deepsix my chrome cache, so my history doesn’t play a part. But bookmarks, yeah 🙂


  2. L.A. Smith says:

    I am on Safari, not Chrome, so I’m not sure I can find the same data. It would be interesting, though. And perhaps a little cringe-inducing. Do I really want to know what percentage of my searches are for internet shopping? No, I do not. 🙂


  3. I went through the alphabet on mine. Many were basic sites — amazon, ebay, youtube,that sort of thing. A few were gaming-related, three were libertarian podcasts or forums, one was an urban planning blog,and the other was Worldcat.org. J and Z had no results. Worldcat.org was easily the most respectable.


  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    “Do I really want to know…” – I fear I don’t want to know any of this sort of detail! (“It would be interesting, though.”) Not a very good Lenten attitude…

    “Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
    Cannot bear very much reality.”

    T.S. Eliot, ‘Burnt Norton’, I

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    “News & Politics still sits uncomfortably with me.” Arend Smilde once let me read a copy of a little personal anthology of his – with some Lewis gems – about not spending time following the news…

    It would be fun if he could post it, but I suppose it might be a copyright nightmare. (Maybe a sort of puzzlebook version with only citation details of where one could find the remarks would be an idea…?!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Josiah Peterson says:

    I love librivox. They have great narrators for Chesterton and MacDonald.

    On Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 1:09 PM, A Pilgrim in Narnia wrote:

    > Brenton Dickieson posted: “I have come to love the google autofill > function for sites I frequent. This is partly because I have filled the > little avatar-button toolbar thing on my browser. This means that I have > 60+ sites that I visit frequently enough that I need shortcuts for, wh” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      Try anything by the late Andy Minter, if you haven’t already (or were you thinking of him, for The Princess and the Goblins?) – I think he’s great!

      Liked by 1 person

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