I've never spent as much time at home as I have in the last year. Of course, I'm not the only one. Over the past year or so of quarantine, I've found myself searching for new things to do. I searched for “cheesemaking” when my kids asked me to play sous chef, and for “bird watching” and “how to create container gardens” when we started spending more time outside. Like so many people, I looked up recipes for baking bread. My quarantine search history feels like a bingo card for hobbies.
This made me wonder what other people were searching for during the pandemic — and how have these interests changed over time?
To get an idea, we worked with design studio Polygraph (creators of The Pudding) to create a new interactive tool that allows us to dig deeper into what captivated our year of social distancing. With this new calendar view, you can see what hobbies and interests were trending on any specific day a year ago in the U.S. Each day reflects the topic that saw the greatest growth in search queries compared to one year prior. You can also learn more about a specific topic by visiting the Google Trends website.
Hobbies in 2020 were compared to the search volume in 2019 to calculate percent growth. The hobby with the largest growth was featured on the respective day. Play with the tool here.
Explore more by searching for specific hobbies in the calendar or click to select different dates and view what hobby was keeping us busy at that time last year. (It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one searching for “needlepoint” on April 8 last year.) You can even select a specific hobby and connect with helpful information on the Search results page.
Google Trends provides a unique perspective of what we’re currently interested in and curious about. If I learned anything from using this new tool, it’s that we all have more in common than we might think.