Do you ever wonder what your search history says about you?
"Hypochondriac" is a word that would surely crop up if my late-night whisperings into Google's ear were to be psychoanalysed.
Par exemple: on a recent long-haul flight to London, the bridge of my nose began to swell. Before I'd reclaimed my baggage, airport Wi-fi had enabled me to identify the cause: a nose infection.
Four hours in a National Health Service walk-in centre later, a doctor issued me with some cream.
"Um, isn't it an infection?" I asked. "What about draining it? The internet said …"
A few spot-on online diagnoses can make you feel like the GP is a middleman who exists to give you the drugs Google knows you need.
Once, when I (really did) have an infection (this time, finger), Google got it right. But it also told me that dipping my digit in warm water for 24 hours would fix the problem. So at work I sat with my finger in a 1D mug typing with one hand. Nada.
I've previously had a Google Pregnancy, when my mouth mysteriously tasted of metal for a week. A friend once spent a week with Google Herpes, after having partied too hard on a skiing holiday. I've had Google Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Google Crohn's Disease and Google Colitis after every Indian curry I've ever eaten. Pretty much any symptom can be explained as early onset Google Cancer.
Another friend read online that applying oregano oil and salt paste to the face can cure dermatitis. As she said later, "It burns like hell. And as you sit there at midnight with your face on fire, you wonder, 'What if a kid in Beirut is just f***ing with me?'"
As for my "nose infection", a few days later I did manage to diagnose myself. As the left side of my honker throbbed, I knew exactly what it was: I had a big, shining spot.