I Spied On Jonathan Franzen’s Google Search History For Three Months And This Is What I Found

A few months ago, I installed a keylogging program on Jonathan Franzen’s home computer, intent on finding out what exactly a National Book Award-winning author searches for when he doesn’t think anyone is watching.

I don’t know what possessed me to do this, and I’m not really sure what I thought I’d even get out of it—maybe I hoped it would kickstart my career as an exposé gossip journalist, or perhaps I figured Gawker would toss me a couple of bucks for what was sure to be a windfall of information about a writer who has a reputation for being a weird, reclusive dick.

Regardless, about a week ago the external hard drive I was keeping all this information on overheated, and the bulk of the data was irretrievably corrupted. Although I’d decided early on that this whole project had been ill-conceived at best, I resolved to see it through to its conclusion, for good or ill. What you’ll find below doesn’t amount to much, but it’s still a peek into a world most of us will never be a part of, and I hope whatever you can glean from it brightens your day, at least a little.

5/27/16
17:05:36 — mixed grill recipe
17:06:42—mixed grill recipe romantic evening
17:08:17—mixed grill recipe romantic evening in trouble with girlfriend
17:09:03—good dinners to cook for girlfriend to say sorry
17:11:29—good dinners to cook for girlfriend after buying too much birdwatching gear
17:14:53—what is a reasonable amount of money to spend on binoculars

6/14/16
11:36:15—jonathan franzen
11:43:59—jonathan franzen photo
13:18:05—jonathan franzen photo good

6/19/16–6/20/16
23:35:01—bird watching videos
23:42:16—bird m
23:47:22—bird ma
23:57:41—bird marriage
00:06:31—bird marriage legal
00:18:05—bird marriage legal 2017
00:23:20—bird marriage legal when
00:25:13—mailing address for white house

7/9/16
13:15:34—bird kissing
13:16:12—bird kissing how to
13:19:46—bird kissing tutorial video
13:21:11—bird kissing tutorial video without sound

22:52:08—how to tell if bird likes being kissed on beak
22:54:39—bird wont stop honking after being kissed on beak
22:56:42—what to do if bird doesnt like beak kisses
23:01:16—bird kiss mulligan
23:01:46—pill to make bird forget it has been kissed
23:54:35—how to delete google cache

8/1/16
9:21:55—hot author
9:35:29—hot male author
9:36:34—hot male author age 50+
9:38:17—hot male author age 50+ last name f
9:40:58—hot male author age 50+ last name franzen
9:42:45—jonathan franzen hot
10:06:40—jonathan franzen hot?