Banish the Unofficial Luggage of Foster Care

The Year (2014) in Review

Dr. James Emery White | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary | Monday, December 29, 2014

The Year (2014) in Review

As we did last year, this is the time to recap the year that was.

There are a number of ways to do it, all of which are interesting. You can look at a year in terms of notable deaths, viral events, political rises and falls…

But how do you really get a twelve-month snapshot of a culture’s zeitgeist?

I would argue for two words: “Google searches.”

I’m not saying that this will be what historians will mark in 10, much less 100 years…even less what is most significant. But I will say that it may be the clearest window into our current soul.

So here we go with a few peeks into our inner world, courtesy of Google itself:

Top 10 “What” questions from 2014:

1.      What is ALS?
2.      What is Ebola?
3.      What is ISIS?
4.      What is Bitcoin?
5.      What is Asphyxia?
6.      What is Gamergate?
7.      What is WhatsApp?
8.      What is MERS?
9.      What is Hamas?
10.    What is Airdrop?

Top trending searches in 2014 from around the world:

1.        Robin Williams
2.        World Cup
3.        Ebola
4.        Malaysia Airlines
5.        Flappy Bird
6.        ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
7.        ISIS
8.        Ferguson
9.        Frozen
10.      Ukraine

Top 10 “life advice” searches from 2014:

1.        How to Airdrop
2.        How to Contour
3.        How to Vote
4.        How to Kiss
5.        How to Craft
6.        How to Colorblock
7.        How to Wakeboard
8.        How to Refurbish
9.        How to Delegate
10.      How to DIY

And finally, the top 10 people of 2014 we were interested in:

1.        Jennifer Lawrence
2.        Kim Kardashian
3.        Tracy Morgan
4.        Ray Rice
5.        Tony Stewart
6.        Iggy Azalea
7.        Donald Sterling
8.        Adrian Peterson
9.        Rene Zellweger
10.      Jared Leto

Welcome to our world.

James Emery White


“What did the world search for in 2014?”,, read online.

Editor’s Note

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is now available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

The Year (2014) in Review