Analyze Yourself: The Facebook Quiz Phenomenon

In this digital age, online social networking has taken the world by storm. It is an easy and effective way of finding and staying in touch with friends and family and the perfect forum for expressing oneself. Most importantly, it is the best place to waste any surplus time on one’s hands. Facebook, the ruling King of networking sites has seemingly come up with the most innovative, though unproductive way of doing so – quizzes!

Every Facebook member takes these sometimes funny, almost always unimaginably silly quizzes. They range from “What does your birthday month say about you?” or “What historical character are you?” to “When will you die?”, and “Are you girly, a perfect princess or a tomboy?” or something to that effect! The common link in all these quizzes is that it reflects a human need for attention, if not from people, then from computer programmes. Everyone loves being analyzed and branded as something, even if it makes them more like everyone else in a time when everyone wants to be different just for the sake of it. Take for instance the quiz which analyzes people on the basis of their birthday month; there are only 12 months as compared to the thousands of people who take the quiz. So many different people with so many diverse characteristics cannot possible be pigeonholed into 12 categories. However, no one minds this. Legions of people who take this quiz are a testimony to this fact.

Some of the quizzes are amazingly bizarre. “When will you lose your virginity?”, “How many children will you have?”, “What kind of butt wiper are you?” are just some of the examples. Most quizzes have questions that involve praising oneself. For example, in the quiz “What do your eyes say about you?”, there is a question which says “what do people say about your eyes?”. The options are “They’re very beautiful”, “They’re very scary”, “They’re very deep”, “They’re really pretty”, “They match your personality” and “People don’t really talk about my eyes.” It is clear that whenever someone answers a question like this, they obviously don’t go about conducting surveys. They can either choose any of the first six rather narcissistic options or they can choose the last one. If they go for the latter, the result of the quiz would probably be something like “Your eyes are unexpressive”. Most people know that and end up choosing one of the first six options and thereby praising themselves. This way they also manipulate the quiz to get the answer they want. So basically, people like being analyzed in the hope that the image the quiz creates conforms to the image they have of themselves or is something better.  Vanity in its starkest form indeed!

However, one thing cannot be denied. These quizzes are a lot of fun and a nice way to relax. So what if it involves all the above mentioned things? After all, everybody on some level already knows these things. Bring on the quizzes!

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