I think BuzzFeed is fun, but . . .
What if BuzzFeed quizzes are a conspiracy organized by the standardized test industry to get students everywhere addicted to multiple choice exams?
Is it a stretch? Yes. Just like any good conspiracy theory.
But think about it. We repeatedly answer multiple choice questions of a similar format so that an automatic scoring system can place us in categories to determine who we are, where we belong, and/or what we’re worth. I’m getting flashbacks to the SATs.
“But wait,” you say. “These can’t be compared to graded tests because they’re just fun questions with no right or wrong answers.” But you know that’s a lie. Because when you were taking the Which “Mean Girls” Character Are You quiz you were at least subconsciously trying to pick the answers that would make you Glen Coco (or at least I was . . . turns out I’m more of a Kevin Gnapoor).
Even if this isn’t created by the testing people, can I at least point out how well this fits into testing culture? Our favorite way to answer questions, even about ourselves, is to pick from a limited set of categorical choices, whether they perfectly express what’s in our heads or not. And while we may think that we know who we are, everything feels a little more valid when it comes from a test result, no matter how meaningless we know the test itself is.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been all over quizzes BuzzFeed myself. Apparently, I’m Elsa, my future kid will be a doctor, I should major in Women’s Studies, and I would die in the Hunger Games. Then again, maybe I’m just in on the conspiracy myself. Because apparently, I belong in the treachery section of Inferno.
Also, to give BuzzFeed credit, there is one quiz that is completely honest about its predictive functionality: What Arbitrary Thing Are You