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That’s easy, I’m Spock} ?> Who am I? That’s easy, I’m Spock. BuzzFeed says so, so it must be true.
Like many people, I enjoy taking online quizzes—so much so, that they have now begun showing up in the advertisements that pop into my Facebook feed. It still freaks me out a bit that they are tailored to my particular interests, but not enough for me not to take them. Through these quizzes, I have discovered that I should live in England, Rivendell, the Shire, the Victorian period—or the 80’s—and own a cottage in the woods. I have found out that if I was an Avenger I’d be Captain America (no brainer), if I was a companion of The Doctor I’d be Rory (maybe), if I was a character from a Jane Austen novel I’d be Fanny Price (wrong! I’m an Elizabeth Bennett all the way), If I was a Star Trek character I’d be Spock (absolutely), if I was a LOTR character I’d be Merry (not sure about that one) and if I was a character on Big Bang Theory I’d be Sheldon (that’s true).
I will pause here so you can click the link to the right and find out what sci-fi character you are. Go on. You know you want to.
Why do I love these quizzes? It’s fun to consider questions about myself that I normally wouldn’t entertain. I like to see if the program is accurate. Sometimes I become indignant at the result because I don’t think it fits me, but other times their prediction is spot on. I’m pretty sure that I know myself well—I do an awful lot of self-reflection between my writing life and prayer life—but I guess I’m interested in seeing an outside perspective, even if it is based on a ridiculously limited program that generates a theory from only a few of the overall answers collected. There might also be a part of me that is looking for validation of what I believe about myself.
If you think about it, the quizzes I choose to take say something about me; how I feel about the results also says something about me. As does the fact that I have gone back and changed my answers when I was dissatisfied with the results (I only did that once—the Jane Austen one).
Maybe I’m looking for insight into my personality that playing nonsense games can offer because I don’t want an actual human opinion. I could ask my husband, kids, co-workers or friends what they think about aspects of my personality if I wanted real insight. But, they aren’t going to tell me that I’m Captain America. I could ask them what level of mean I am, or what style of parenting I favour, but they might tell me something that I would have to take seriously and maybe even change about myself if I don’t like the result.
On one hand, I know these quizzes are silly and designed for a quick diversion. There is a social aspect to them that makes them fun—if I notice friends taking them, I enjoy seeing what we have in common or who is the better Austen heroine (it’s me). On the other hand, I want my results to be right. And by “right,” I mean that they should match my opinion. I can’t demand the people in my life share my opinions about everything—I have to allow them to form their own ideas, thoughts and feelings about me based on real interactions that we have—not on questions that have no bearing on our lives (although, one could argue the necessity of knowing who among us should be the Science Officer if we suddenly find ourselves on an alien planet… the answer is me).
Not everyone has my tendency to be too competitive about malarkey, or to spend too much time thinking about what these quizzes mean like I do, so these quizzes are probably perfectly safe for the general public. They are safe for me, too, as long as I don’t take them very seriously. But, if I’m spending a lot of time wishing I were somewhere else or someone else, I have a problem.
If my identity doesn’t come from being a child of God, or isn’t rooted in reality, I’m wasting my time and energy trying to discover who I am. When it comes down to it, I don’t need a goofy quiz to tell me which Jane Austen hero I’d marry, or what colour my aura is. I know, all by myself, that Mr. Knightly belongs to me and that if I have an aura, it’s got to be black.