Can we just be honest with each other for a few minutes? We all clear our search history from time to time. It doesn't make us shady, it doesn't mean we're up to no good, and it doesn't mean we have something serious to hide. It just means we don't need to be constantly reminded of our every thought — because that's what a search history is. It's a collection of passing personal thoughts that were answered by the Internet and no longer need to be there.
It's a fact that our digital footprint attempts to sum us up. Click a picture of an engagement ring once and forever be bombarded with a mix of ads selling diamonds and dating services. Your computer is desperate to consolidate your identity into a collection of tags. I am not Kaitlyn, I am "female, 20-something, relationship, love, fashion, dogs, travel, quotes, vintage." The Internet doesn't want to get to know what kind of person you are, it wants to know what kind of consumer you are. So, when you see the little collections of data your computer has saved to add to their heartless idea of you, it's easy to feel pigeonholed.
You are not the toe fungus you Google Imaged. You are more than the Chinese-dubbed version of Fifty Shades you illegally streamed from a third-party site in India. Your time is more valuable than the time you spent looking through your ex-boyfriend's potential new girlfriend's Facebook pictures from 2009. You are not basic because you've clocked a few thousand hours of YouTube contouring tutorials. But, if you take a look at your search history, you'll probably find a few of these, because you're only human:
Every time you sleep with someone new, you look up the symptoms for every single STD there is. You take your time scrolling through pictures of each disease, studying treatment options and cross-referencing the systems with your current state of being. Every time you have a headache, you're back on WebMD, looking up brain cancer, aneurysms, strokes, and STDs that cause headaches. Any time you find a spot on your skin, you're back on there looking at samples of melanoma, auto immune diseases, allergic reactions, and, of course, STDs that cause rashes. Chances are you have absolutely none of these diseases, so there's no reason to let your web history think you do. Clear all.
Whether you're trying to wrap your head around an insane sounding sex act that you over heard your co-workers talking about or trying to decode some netspeak that's been thrown your way, there's no reason to date our outdate yourself by letting your computer hold onto that web history. Clear all.
You probably look at a few thousand Google Images a day. Everything from rashes to lobs, you're looking at it. Just over the course of watching one TV show, you might Google every actor on the show, pictures of their rumored partners, their social media pictures, their hairdresser's picture, and so on. Your questions have been answered. You won't even remember thinking about this person in a few hours, but if someone looked at your web history they might think you're a stalker about to carry out some massive kidnapping heist. Clear all.
You've just gone through eight years of pictures on your ex's page, which led you to a couple he's friends with from his hometown that has an adorable baby, and so you went through their public photos, and then found your way to the godmother of their child who is really beautiful and seems to have an ideal relationship with her husband whose profile is totally public because he's a public figure; you've now realized he's a novelist you've actually read and now you're seven years deep into his pictures and clicking on his mother's page because she writes him the sweetest congratulatory notes and now you're disoriented, dizzy, confused, dehydrated. You're in a web hole and your search history looks insane. Clear all.
What starts out as a makeup tutorial inadvertently leads you to a fashion blogger's vlog where she taste tests candy bars from her bedroom in London, and then you're watching a cat play the banjo with his tail, and then you're listening to a 4-year-old sing an incredible rendition of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," and you're asking yourself if it looks suspicious. Yes, clear all.