Useful, or Useless, Seasonal Thanksgiving Trends (needs review in Anthony’s next shift)

By Anthony Parlogean

For college students, Thanksgiving is a day full of family, football, stuffed turkey and seasonal trends. Seasonal trends can be tracked through collecting online searches from various social media platforms. Seasonal trends viewed through online searches may also illuminate the deepest, darkest urges that occur within the brain. Just kidding. 

YouTube collects search results and organizes them into differently ranked categories, such as by state. Illinois has the 13th highest video search results for mashed potatoes, according to the YouTube trends webpage. Fascinating.

Recipe and cooking videos are also popular to watch during Thanksgiving break.

There are four million recipe-related videos on YouTube and watch times for these videos has increased 2½ times within the past two years. Other types of videos called “cook with me” videos have exploded in popularity with watch time increasing over five times within the past two years, according to the YouTube trends webpage. International celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey would be proud of this trend, albeit shown through a profanity-laden rant.

Search results in Google Maps can indicate trends in popular travel destinations. Google Maps collects and analyzes the number of times people search for specific destinations.

During Thanksgiving, the most uniquely popular Google Maps search results varies from state to state. Illinois’ most popular search result was football fields, according to a 2016 Google Maps trend comparison. Considering the current state of the Chicago Bears and the perspective of its fans, this either makes complete sense or no sense at all.

National Google Maps searches on Thanksgiving were ranked in ascending order of frequency: “tree farm,” “outlet mall,” “electronics store,” “ATV rental service” and “video game store.” It would be interesting to see the demographic differences between people searching for “tree farm” and those searching for everything else.

The most uniquely popular Google Maps search for Illinois residents during Thanksgiving was “boat rental,” according to a 2017 Google Maps trend comparison. Renting a boat on Thanksgiving can be a fun time with the family, unless the father is Jack Torrance from “The Shining.”

Seasonal trends as seen through online searches can be a fascinating exploration into the human psyche, or it could just be a useful tidbit of information to help during the holiday break.