BuzzFeed quizzes: pastime or identity crisis?

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MIchelle DeRoche. Contributing Writer

 

Since its launch in 2006, BuzzFeed’s popularity has grown rapidly. Besides providing humorous articles, the website also offers games and quizzes. Of late, the quizzes have grown in popularity, mainly because of the surprising facts they reveal about a person’s character.

Angela Andrews, a junior, said her favorite BuzzFeed quiz is definitely “Which Ousted Arab Spring Ruler Are You?”

“The question was keeping me up at night, and I was very flattered to be compared to Muammar Gaddafi.” Andrews is a history major, but for those who do not know, Gaddafi was the former prime minister of Libya until his assassination in 2011. See, BuzzFeed can even expand your cultural knowledge.

Chandler Johnson, a senior and an avid BuzzFeed quiz-taker, said her favorite quiz is “How Stereotypically White are You?”

“I got a 55, which is both embarrassing and just hysterical,” she said.

Katie McIntyre, a freshman, was very pleased to take the quiz, “Are You Too Competitive For Your Own Good?” Now, anyone who knows McIntyre would be able to answer this question for her, but BuzzFeed confirmed it, telling her, “You’re insanely competitive — and maybe a little insane.”

Going above and beyond the call of duty, BuzzFeed even offers an inside look at the quiz-taker’s mindset based on the quiz outcomes. In regard to McIntyre’s competitive spirit, it said the following:

“It’s not about how you played the game; it’s about whether or not you won. You don’t celebrate … ‘moral victories’ because you know that is a made-up term for losers … You still remember losing a kickball game in third grade, and it drives you to this day.”

Anyone who has seen McIntyre at a track meet can testify that all of the above is true. You do not want to be in her way near the finish line of a race. She runs her heart out and is extremely competitive.

While some consider the quizzes to be revelations of truth, Clare Myers, a junior, is a bit more skeptical. “You have to be like the person who made the quiz for it to reflect the truth,” she said.

Lacy de la Garza, an Admissions Counselor and graduate student of psychology at the University of Dallas, offered some insight on the recent quiz trend.

“BuzzFeed quizzes appeal to our need for self-knowledge, and I definitely don’t exclude myself when I say this. On some level, I see them as a cry for an understanding of self that our generation as a whole seems to have lost. They are quick, painless and promise a digestible revelation that we can take or leave at will,” she said.

De la Garza admitted that she took the “What Kind of Movie is Your Life” quiz and the outcome was “a musical,” which she said seems pretty true because she loves musicals.

De la Garza also mentioned that the site’s widespread popularity could be a sign of the current generation’s narcissism. When a person constantly posts their quiz results on Facebook, “[the quizzes] become more a mark of ‘branding’ yourself the way you want to be seen than anything else,” she said.

Not even Ellen DeGeneres can escape the excitement and intrigue offered by BuzzFeed’s quizzes. –Photo coutesy of Surviving College
Not even Ellen DeGeneres can escape the excitement and intrigue offered by BuzzFeed’s quizzes.
–Photo coutesy of Surviving College

The original idea behind BuzzFeed was to provide a way of tracking viral content and create popular media for people to share. When it launched in 2006, the website was only supposed to be an experiment. Now, it’s obvious that it has been very successful.

On September 4, 2013, Jonah Peretti, the founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, wrote a memo to all BuzzFeed employees, called “BuzzFeeders.”

In the memo, Peretti highlighted BuzzFeed’s strengths.

“BuzzFeed is famous, and sometimes infamous, for our lists. […] We will always do lists, but we have the advantage of not being limited to a single format like many traditional media companies. We do long form, short form, quizzes, video, original graphic art, rubbable gifs, apps and more,” he wrote.

The popularity of BuzzFeed quizzes definitely reflects the current generation’s search for identity. Everyone wants a deeper self-awareness, so why not have fun while you’re doing it and share your results with friends? If this sounds good, then go to BuzzFeed right now and take the newest quizzes!

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