What does your future look like?
Want to know your future? Right now, "Google" seems to have a cool new feature. If you head over to BetaGoogle.com, you can check out Google Fortunetelling.
All you gotta do is click through and type in a question about your future. And then: magic.
Do it now because the rest of this is about to get verrrry spoiler-y.
When you start typing, it autofills ... with something a little unexpected. I won't tell you yet because you gotta see it for yourself! Go!
OK, now that you're back...
When my question started autofilling in, I was like...
I felt a little bit tricked. But mostly, I felt like this was so cool. I was tricked ... for good!
Google can't tell your future. (Obvi.)
But the Google Fortunetelling site will tell you about the world's current refugee crisis.
Since conflict in Syria kicked up in 2011, around 4 million Syrians have fled their country. Another 7 million Syrians are displaced within Syria. Most have yet to find a safe haven. (The U.S. has taken just over 2,000 of those refugees. So far!)
I want to give some serious props to Google. But it seems Google is not behind this site.
Digiday reported they got the skinny on who is behind the curtain of this delightful online prank.
"Netherlands-based creative communications agency BrainMedia confirmed they are behind the site, which links to the donations page of UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency."
Zing! The site has been in existence since September, but it's popping up again thanks to the ever-hot and ever-hefty debates about refugees in the news in the aftermath of terrorism. And even though the idea doesn't seem to have been Google's, Google held its own refugee relief campaign and matched donations up to $5.5 million to reach a goal of $11 million dollars for refugees.
What a smart way to make me think about the future of others: By tapping into the curiosity about knowing our own futures, we're struck by a moment of recognition — how truly terrible it is to not know your more immediate future. Whether you'll have a safe place to sleep tonight. Where your next meal will come from.
It's bait-and-switch with a purpose.
The search takes you to a page that links you to charities and gives you a great way you to share the search — and awareness — with others.
So what next? Let's all be tricksters for good — for our neighbors across the sea who are fleeing for their lives.
Go yell, "BETAGOOGLE.COM!!!!" on the street.
Or find a time machine, go back in time, become a YouTube celebrity, and make a YouTube tutorial about how to go to BetaGoogle.com.
Or, you can just go to BetaGoogle.com, share it on your Internet places, and watch your friends be like...