Column: What online quizzes taught me about myself

Megan Ivey, Verge Editor

I have an addiction for which I hold no shame, and that addiction is online quizzes.

Over the last year, BuzzFeed has gained in popularity and has flooded social media with listicals, videos and quizzes. Other sites quickly saw their success and followed with similar, quiz-driven content.

Among the social media posts of people’s pets and biased, politically driven statuses, I look forward to the posts asking me questions I did not know I wanted to know about myself.

Questions take the form of quizzes, such as “What holiday resembles your personality?” and “Which emo band are you?”

I don’t believe in my angsty-middle school days I ever listened to an “emo” band, yet three minutes later I know the answer (My Chemical Romance, for those are wondering).

BuzzFeed has quizzes for all types of people. There are quizzes about food, celebrities, historical references, you name it.

I scroll through the websites’ tab specifically for quizzes, and ask “What do I want to learn about myself today?”

The process of taking the quiz is exciting.

Questions are asked that you did not even realize you have answers to.

Have you ever thought about which animal you would want to talk to if animals could talk? You have if you’ve taken “Which Taco Bell item speaks to you on a spiritual level?”

Many question the substance or value behind the quizzes. People write them off as pointless or annoying, or a cheap source of information.

They are supposed to be outrageous and ridiculous. It’s what makes them a good form of entertainment.

However, I think taking the quizzes goes one step further, offering people a medium to be self-reflective and open to others.

When I get results, I am taking time to think if I relate to it, or if it relates to me at all.

Sometimes, it is truly eye-opening. Sometimes it is so absurd it provides nothing more than a well-needed laugh.

The quiz might not valuable, but the self-realizing process that comes from it does.

For those three minutes, the questions prompt me to think about how I would handle situations, what I would do in the most extreme “what ifs.”

It is fun thinking though make-believe scenarios, and I think I know myself better because of them. Taking a quiz means you spent three minutes of your day not thinking about stressful moments.

I argue those three minutes can keep a person sane. The small, meaningless questions can actually tell a lot about a person. I have a constant stock of random questions from the quizzes that I ask when I’m intrigued to know more about a person.

These are the conversation-starting questions that open up an awkward first date, or unravel a 30-minute discussion with your best friend.

BuzzFeed is a big part of social media for a reason. The content gets people talking.

People neglect to realize the importance of simple and easy-going questions. I hope to know the deep, thought-provoking ideas of my close loved ones, but I also hope to uncover the little things that make them interesting.

So get off your high horse. Take a guilt-worthy quiz, and uncover something you did not know about yourself in the process.

Megan Ivey is a sophomore journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].