Thursday, March 19, 2015

Buzzfeed quizzes

I thought I was so smart, managing my social network feeds. I opted out of seeing a certain frenemy’s posts (The “Gwyneth Paltrow of Seattle,” you’d hide her updates, too). I turned off all notifications for Oregon Trail, Farmville and every other bullshit Facebook game. I avoid the various name generator tools. I don’t have a burning need to know how John Travolta would mangle my name.

But I can’t seem to shake the quizzes, oh the horror, the quizzes. They started out benignly enough. I took a two-minute break to find out if a Buzzfeed Quiz could deduce, based on my language and pronunciation preferences, which part of the country I’m from (spot on). I was even curious to find out which typeface I was (a super twee handwriting font that nobody’s handwriting actually resembles).

But then, the inanity mounted. The navel gazing went to a microscopic level. Which Breakfast Club character/breed of dog/color/Dr. Who are you? Which Hogwarts house do you belong in? Which Disney cat should be your pet? Are you more Lorelei or Rory Gilmore? Is this sort of self-reflection and self-awareness helpful or necessary? What kind of insight can be gleaned from finding out which celebrity man bun I am?

Admit it, you hate yourself just a TINY bit for taking the bait and taking the quiz (I’m the Leonardo DiCaprio man bun, by the way). That’s two minutes of your life that you can’t get back. It may not sound like much but that shit adds up. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure, measure a year? The creators of Rent weren’t envisioning 262,800 quizzes you’ll forget about as soon as you answer question 10. You could have read a great article, left a loved one a voicemail or told someone off in the library parking lot, worked on a crossword, gone number two. Better alternatives to these quizzes lurk everywhere, even in the john.

Andrew Peña/

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