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I Am One Of The People Who Googled ‘Eyes Hurt’ After The Eclipse

A man in a white t-shirt and blue pants sits on a bed, holding one hand to his forehead
Andrea Piacquadio

Some of the first words I wrote yesterday were “please remember not to stare directly at the sun.” As the eclipse moved across North America, Google searches spiked for “eyes hurt” and “I looked at the eclipse without glasses.” We all had a laugh about it! But here’s a confession: I was one of the people searching for these terms, because I looked at the fucking sun.

What happened was: I’m a dumbass! I spent most of the day enjoying NASA’s livestream and figuring I should pop outside at some point to catch the vibes here in DC. While poking around my apartment, I distractedly wondered if I could even see the sun from where I was. Before I could think better of it, I tilted my face against my window and searched the sky, staring directly at the sun.

It hurt, because it is the sun! I immediately yelled “Oh shit I stared at the sun!” and looked away. My search history tells me I then Googled things such as “what if i accidentally look at eclipse” and “what if i look at partial eclipse not glasses out window” and “look at eclipse no glasses reddit dc.” There are lots of other people out there who have also done this, and some of them were fine, and some of them totally fucked their eyes up. My browser history says I spent a lot of time reading various expert blogs that basically said “Don’t do that thing you just did,” which was not helpful. My history also tells me that, to deal with my mounting shame and panic, I took some time out of my freakout to look up how to play the Animal Crossing: New Horizons theme on my ukulele, which sounds like what I’d do in this situation.

Anyway, I appear to be fine (also, I can play the Animal Crossing theme on my ukulele now). I went out later with my eclipse glasses, and looked safely at the sun, and it was awesome: I could see a big bite taken out of it, and the light and shadows got all weird in my neighborhood, and everyone was outside being super excited about space. As I wandered, I studied all the people around me who didn’t have glasses, wondering if they were going to look up at the sun so I could heroically dive in front of them bellowing “Nnnoo!” But no one did, because I guess no one else in my neighborhood is a moron.

It’s utterly humiliating to publish this blog. But I feel obligated to eat shit about my bad choices and hypocrisy, and maybe to help you feel less alone if you were also one of these people Googling ridiculous things after enjoying yesterday’s mystical cosmic ballet. Sometimes you’re just an idiot who looks at the sun. Let’s never talk about this again.

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