Quiz: What Kind of Metaverse Blog-Reader Are You?

fb_quiz_1If you’ve even glanced at Facebook lately, you’ve seen the surge of quizzes, usually from Buzzfeed or Zimbio.

While I tend to run screaming from obvious time-wasters (I’ve successfully avoided crushing any candies, for instance), I admit that I occasionally am drawn to some of these.  It’s not that I really NEED to know where I should go for spring break (quiz result: New Orleans), because I’m not going anywhere.  Sure, at the time it felt vitally important to know “Which Gilmore Girls Guy is Your True Soulmate” (Luke Danes, OF COURSE, but let’s not mention this to my husband).  And yes, it was through a quiz that I learned that the Reality TV Show I’m actually supposed to be on is The Bachelorette.  But I’m starting to find a certain inconsistency with my results that help remind me this is all fun nonsense (How can I be on the Bachelorette if my soulmate is Luke Danes??!!  Does Luke ever WANT to vacation in New Orleans?).

myspace1Taking personality quizzes for fun is nothing new. I remember sitting around the high school library with friends, taking quizzes from Seventeen magazine.  It would be something like, “How good of a friend are you?” with ten questions about what you might do in a certain situation, how often you call your friends (remember “calling”?), and how long you’ve had your best friend.  We’d all keep a tally, and then someone would read the much-anticipated results.  They were fun and meaningless, and killed time between Spanish II and Biology.  Later, there were forwards and emails loaded with questions around “Have you ever?” and “When was your first kiss?” (which you had to answer, or be doomed to whatever chain mail threats were popular at the time), and then came the quizzes on MySpace or Xanga (omg, Xanga!), or quiz widgets on blogs.

Even if you maintain the act that you’ve never participated in one, you’ve seen them and you know these quizzes exist (otherwise, you’re either under a rock, a member of a remote tribe in the rainforest, not telling the truth, or in a bizarre minority).  Quizzes are huge!  Buzzfeed’s “What State Do You Actually Belong In?” currently has more than 40.1 MILLION views.  You know you took it.  Even I did (I belong in Nebraska, by the way, which is about 5 miles from my home, so CLEARLY these things are scientifically accurate, almost. Ish.) And in 2013, the New York Times’ most popular published item was a quiz.  It was the one about dialect, remember?

imgresSo what draws us in?  Is it just that we see it’s about something familiar, like a show we watch, or something else we love?  I promise to never take a Harry Potter quiz — not my thing.  But I did feel compelled to find out which Downton Abbey character I was (Mrs. Patmore. Hmm…).

Some say that we take these quizzes in a never-ending quest to define who we are.  The “results” tend to be very affirming, so we smile, congratulate ourselves, and move on.  It’s not like we even remember the results, necessarily (although some people — cough, cough — take a quiz until they get the result they want).  We also sometimes share the results with our Facebook friends.  And since we probably found the quiz on Facebook (through a friend who had taken it and posted the results), perhaps we are also taking the quizzes because we want to compare our results to theirs, to gain some feeling of being normal, or being part of something?  To feel like we belong to a particular group?

The thing about the results, though… they were written like any well-crafted horoscope.  No matter what, the results are designed to somehow made you feel better about yourself, and usually hold a hint of caution.  “You are a great friend, and everyone wants to be in your inner circle!” or “You hold yourself apart from people, probably as a self-preservation technique.  You are thoughtful and mysterious, but when you love, you love deeply.”  Imagine if the results were harsh:  “You are a horrible human being, and seriously, no one wants to be anywhere near you.  Get off this quiz page right now.”

My advice is this:  Have fun while the fad lasts!  But while you’re having fun, remember that it’s not necessary to share Every. Single. Result. with your Facebook friends.  Share the really funny results, or an occasional quiz, but seriously, no one really cares which sandwich you are (I’m a grilled cheese, though).  And – a word of caution, be VERY careful with the type of information you’re providing.  Some quizzes may seem innocuous enough, but they can also be collecting certain bits of data on you for marketing purposes (or worse, hacking purposes).  If it asks for your mom’s maiden name, or the name of your first dog… RUN!  Bottom line: just be vigilant.

unnamedFunny (and true!) side note:  While I was writing this, no joke, my own daughter (with no knowledge of what I was writing about) texted me, saying, “This just made my life.”  Attached was a screen grab of her results from “Which Queen of Comedy Are You?”  Of course it made her life… she’s Amy Poehler.

And to answer the title of this post, “What Kind of Metaverse Blog-Reader Are You?,” the answer is:  “If you’re still reading, you are the very BEST kind of Metaverse Blog-Reader!  You are diligent and awesome and very perseverant.”  Now go for a walk or something.

Susie South
Project and Community Manager

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