Time magazine’s infographic wizards have done it again, taking raw data from Google searches and turning it into a fascinating display of America’s habits. The graphic illustrates the top Google searches, sorted by state, containing the terms “give up” and “Lent” during the week preceding Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season that ends on Easter Sunday.
Food- and drink-related terms were top of mind for residents of most states. Searches from New Jersey, Texas, South Carolina, Arkansas, Maine, Michigan and New York indicated people were giving up all booze for the holy season, while those in Illinois were specifically targeting wine. Coffee topped the list in South Dakota and Maryland, and chocolate was the choice of penitent folks in Rhode Island, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri and New Mexico. Meat was on the chopping block in the greatest number of states: Florida, Ohio, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Wyoming, Vermont and North Carolina. Poor souls in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, Colorado and Louisiana were pondering the possibility of going without sex for 40 days and 40 nights.
A few interesting choices: Washintonians are likely to stop dating, Virginians were toying with abstaining from self-criticism, and women in Kansas considered ditching their makeup for the duration.