It’s a secret that many of us guard with our lives. The data it contains could damage relationships and cause undue shame and embarrassment if exposed. It’s your cell phone’s search history—and no one would be brave enough to share it with a complete stranger…or would they?
On a brisk New York morning, show host Alicia Menendez and actress Lauren Adams, star of the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, paired a handful of fearless contestants for a game called “Search History Pop Quiz.” The rules are diabolically simple: each team hands over their cell phones. Alicia reads the search history and Lauren attempts to guess which person it belongs to.
“We all use our phones to search things on the Internet, at least I do, and so I wondered how much you could tell about somebody’s personality by their search history,” Alicia explains.
Before the challenge even begins, one of the participants quickly deletes a few humiliating items from his phone’s history. “No editing!” Lauren laughs as she grabs the device from him.
The first two contestants are an interesting pair. One looks like a college student. The other is a colorful hipster wearing an orange fedora, green-tinted sunglasses and a purple blazer. His name, we learn, is Scotty. After scrolling through the phone’s search history, Alicia says, “Someone here loves to shop at Steve Madden.” Based on their outfits alone, Lauren instantly guesses it’s Scotty.
Bingo! The first correct answer of the day!
The second contestants are a male and female, each smartly dressed. Scrolling through the phone’s history, Alicia asks “Which of our two friends was searching for ‘Can you eat edamame shells?’” Based on the look of confusion on the guy’s face, it’s not clear if he’s ever heard of the Japanese bean before, so Lauren chooses the woman instead. Right again! But what about the answer itself? Can you eat edamame shells? “You can!” answers the female contestant. “You don’t have to, but they’ll cleanse your colon.”
The third couple is a man and woman, both wearing identical leather jackets. Alicia reads through the phone’s history and asks “Who was Googling, matching leather jackets, cool or lame?” Both contestants are utterly embarrassed, and neither remembers searching for that phrase. But that’s only because Alicia just made it up on the spot.
Finally, two men, both European based on their accents, are given a chance to play. Alicia finds something right away. “Who was Googling April Fool’s Day parade?” The bashful younger man admits it was him. Apparently a sly New Yorker tricked him into believing there was such a thing. “That’s an April Fool’s joke!” Lauren teases him. “I figured that out,” he replies in embarrassment.
On second thought, maybe it’s best if we keep our phone’s search history a secret after all.