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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

FRANSEN: Buzzfeed quizzes only offer empty validation


elena fransenPop quizzes have never been positive, but Buzzfeed is trying to change that.

With its extensive collection of quizzes, from “What Kind of Sandwich Are You?” to “Are You Going to Die?,” Buzzfeed made itself the new destination for Internet procrastination. One can pass hours going through quizzes, updated daily and relating to just about anything imaginable.

Just answer a few questions, and presto: You provided the proper answers to trigger this variation of the programmed algorithm.

I found out that I am an oatmeal raisin cookie, Wonder Woman, Beatrice from “Much Ado About Nothing” and should live in Croatia. But this all tells me nothing.

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Knowing that, I think to myself, “these things don’t really affect me.” But I can’t stop taking them. There is something about them that is compelling and give people, including myself, an addictive rush. We like having the ability to categorize ourselves and validate who we are.

These types of quizzes hold the promise of revealing more about your character, but answering a few questions doesn’t really prove anything, especially when the results are fictional characters or inanimate objects.

Similar to the Myers-Briggs tests, which ask for responses to 40-plus questions and spit out four traits that supposedly encapsulate your personality, these quizzes come down to subjective opinion.  While these tests have been engineered by psychologists to generate accurate results, there’s only so much these psychologists with no knowledge of who you are can tell you. Expressed interest tests and aptitude tests do the same thing. I don’t think our preferences are the best summation of our beings.

Answering questions with limited context and then taking the results to hold some greater meaning is ridiculous.

Quizzes like Buzzfeed’s remind me of outlandish astrology and horoscopes (in fact, there’s even a new quiz to find out which astrological symbol you should be). Everyone falls under some already set up category and, based on that, is given some characteristics that are probably not accurate. Horoscopes are just a continuation as they attempt to predict your future based solely on your birth date.

There are still people who believe in what their horoscopes tell them, and I am sure there are those who think their quiz results mean something as well. It is important to keep in mind that they are just programmed to give answers to whomever takes the three minutes to click 12 boxes.

It’s pretty cool that my choices led me to my favorite cookie and the greatest superheroine ever, but that doesn’t really reflect who I am. Maybe my personality is similar to that of both (though I doubt cookies have personalities), but sadly, I will never be an Amazonian warrior princess or the most delicious cookie and that’s just something I’ve come to accept.

While these quizzes and predictions of the future are great ways to waste time, they don’t have any real basis for who you are. I’ve had a couple results that I disagree with and I have to remind myself that they don’t come anywhere close to summarizing my character.

We are a lot more complex than what Buzzfeed  and other generated quizzes give us credit for, so maybe we should lay off the quizzes and look for other ways to understand ourselves. Although, I will definitely consider dressing up as Wonder Woman for Halloween next year.

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