Though I am by no means a social media maven, I do check in with Facebook from time to time, mostly to do what I’m sure what everyone else does—poke into other people’s lives.
If you haven’t been around there lately, all everyone seems to be doing is are quizzes. What Superhero Should You Be? What Decade Should You Live In? That sort of thing. Brainless stuff, really. Designed to provide a bit of unproductive escape from the real world. Kind of like Facebook itself.
I ignored them all. If there is anything in this world I don’t have time for, it’s a quiz. Especially a quiz specifically designed to occupy my bored mind in the middle of an afternoon when I should otherwise be getting something done. But then I found myself smack in the middle of today—afternoon, gray, cloudy, rainy, chilly. Everything I needed in order to feel like I really shouldn’t be doing anything at all. You know how it goes.
So I took a quiz.
I did. Couldn’t help myself. And when those two minutes were over I took another one, because I couldn’t help myself then, either.
Ended up wasting the whole afternoon and most of this evening, all told. And I would feel a whole lot worse about it if it weren’t for one simple fact—I learned something.
Those quizzes? There is a value to them, and though you might think I’m kidding, I promise you I’m not.
They might have funny names or ridiculous titles. I think that’s what threw me off at first. And a lot of them aim to give you information you really wouldn’t think you needed. Take them all together, though? Different story.
Had I not taken those quizzes, I wouldn’t never known which Game of Thrones house I would belong to. House Stark, if you’re wondering. Or which Big Bang Theory character I’d be, which is Leonard.
I wouldn’t know how stereotypically white I am. (Not White, as it turned out.)
Or how old I actually was. (46.)
I wouldn’t know which TV anti-hero I was like (Rust Cohle) or which X-Files character I most resembled (Fox Mulder), or how long I would survive a zombie apocalypse (six months).
I wouldn’t know how stereotypically American I am. (“You’re as American as a scruffy, blue-jean wearing Bruce Springsteen standing in front of Old Glory You are America, and you’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.”)
Okay, I actually could’ve guessed that last one.
But here’s the thing—aside form all the weird questions and dubious titles, I really did learn a few things about myself. I would be a Stark in the fictional land of Westerous, because evidently I structure my life around a deep concept of honor. I’d be Leonard because I’m not so smart that I no longer dream. I’m only slightly older than my birth certificate, which means I’m not the curmudgeonly old man I thought I was. And I would not last long in a world full of zombies, because I evidently would not sufficiently surrender my humanity in order to survive.
And you know what? I count all those things as good.