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)
x – none
z – none