The Year (2015) in Review

Dr. James Emery White | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary | Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year (2015) in Review

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 Trending Searches:

1.  Lamar Odom
2.  Jurassic World
3.  American Sniper
4.  Caitlyn Jenner
5.  Ronda Rousey
6.  Paris
8.  Chris Kyle
9.  Fallout 4
10. Straight Outta Compton

Top “How To” Searches:

1.  How to use the new Snapchat update?
2.  How to solve a rubix cube?
3.  How to get legendary marks?
4.  How to play Charlie Charlie?
5.  How to upgrade to Windows 10?
6.  How to get the new emojis?
7.  How to authorize a computer on iTunes?
8.  How to hit the quan?
9.  How to lose 10 pounds in a week?
10. How to use Apple Pay?

Top 10 “What is” questions:

1.  What is 0 divided by 0?
2.  What is Ashley Madison?       
3.  What is a Buckeye?
4.  What is the Charlie Charlie Challenge?
5.  What is a Lunar Eclipse?
6.  What is Ebola?
7.  What is ISIS?
8.  What is Red Nose Day?
9.  What is a Blue Moon?
10. What is Listeria?

And finally, the top 10 people of 2015 we were interested in:

1.  Lamar Odom
2.  Caitlyn Jenner
3.  Ronda Rousey
4.  Donald Trump
5.  Ruby Rose
6.  Charlie Sheen
7.  Brian Williams
8.  Rachel Dolezal
9.  Adele
10. Josh Duggar

Welcome to our world.

James Emery White


“See the Year in Search in 2015”, Google, read online.

About the Author

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 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 (2015) in Review