The Magic Is In The Search Terms

thesaurus

In my Minds and Brains class we’re studying experimental phenomenology. One of the core principles of this is ‘describe, don’t explain’.

Ironically enough I recently experienced this concept in action while online shopping.

I was looking for a specific product for Coachella. I knew exactly what it looked like in my head, but I couldn’t seem to find it online. I tried all the obvious search terms. Forehead band, flower headband, festival band. I tried all the usual haunts. Etsy, Asos, Top Shop, Wanelo. It wasn’t until (through tireless searching, variations, and determination) that I discovered the product I was searching for, under the most seemingly obvious adjectives: “flower crown“. Oh. Duh.

Every day on the Lovely Twitter account I tweet an “apartment hunting tip of the day.” Searching for tricks and tips about apartment hunting I’ve learned to mix it up with my search terms. Tricks, advice, hints, wisdom, tips. The extent to which variation of tagging exists around a singular topic or item is impressive. It is easy to forget that not everyone thinks in the same search terms, and even easier to give up when everything that has worked in the past yields no results.

The incredible thing about the Internet is that it is a tool whose quirks and secrets are constantly evolving, at a pace which is outright intimidating. If you are struggling to find the perfect item or nugget of information just remember: If at first you do not succeed, think outside your search terms.

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