When people woke up this morning to find that the apocalypse didn’t happen, they likely felt one of two emotions: blessed relief, or bitter disappointment — followed by an intense need to check the Internet, presumably just to make sure they weren’t one of the poor, wretched saps to get left behind.
The thing is, according to Christian radio evangelist Harold Camping — the man responsible for getting everybody worked into a foolish frenzy by preaching nonsense over his network, Family Radio — the apocalypse isn’t supposed to happen until 6pm EST, so we’ve all still got some waiting to do. And, apparently, some Web surfing.
A quick gander at Google’s trending search terms shows that people are, not surprisingly, enraptured by the rapture. Out of the top ten most-searched terms on Google at the time of this writing (9am PST), seven of them are relate the apocalypse-that-wasn’t. Those terms include: “end of the world May 21st,” “rapture May 21 2011,” “apocalypse,” “rapture 2011,” and “world time zones,” which we’re guessing people are searching to see when 6pm happens at different spots around, just in case Camping was only wrong about the time.
The fact that people are incessantly browsing the Web for any information they can scrounge up about today’s non-event hasn’t passed by members of the media, who are aim to capitalize off of the interest in an entirely made-up thing. The top of Google news is filled with thousands of articles about the “apocalypse not,” and how Rev. Camping got it all wrong once again. (To be fair, he hasn’t yet gotten it wrong, since the day is still young.) The last time Camping made his doomsday prediction was in 1994. Obviously, we all know how that one turned out.
Maybe today will be different, and we’ll all soon be running around like lunatics in a godless land, wishing we’d done a better job of stocking our canned food collection. Or, more likely, we’ll all still be here, mindlessly reading the Internet.