April 27, 2003 | Category:

Another Internet Quiz

The internet quiz: the most pointless waste of time we’ve come up with on the net. You know the sort I mean: “What kind of (blogger/thinker/zombie etc) are you?”. Answer 30 question and you’ll reveal everything about yourself. Or will you?

The problem with these quizzes is that they don’t tell you anything new; you only ever get what you want to hear out. Anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence can see the result answering a certain question will give you. For example, “Do you like listening to music: a) a lot, b) a little, or c) not at all?”. What a shocker it is when, after answering “a lot”, that you’re a musical person.

Now, whether we do it consciously or not, we always answer these questions the way we think of ourselves, rather than the way we actually are. This is the only insight into our own nature we get: that we’d rather live in our own private little fantasy than see ourselves for how we are (assuming a quiz could accurately profile a person in the first place).

What prompted this ? The BBC Thinker Quiz. Was I surprised when it profiled me as both a “logical-mathematical thinker” and “a musical thinker”? No. I do maths and computing, and I’m passionate about music. This is how I see myself. No great revelations, no big surprise, no wizard behind the curtain.

So, if you want an ego boost (“wow, I’m really as [insert quiz variable here] as I thought I was”), keep trying those quizzes. Me? I’m going back to the roots of quiset; literally “to question” – Question the point of these quizzes.