BuzzFeed, Who Am I?

By
February 11, 2014

BuzzFeed logo.

BuzzFeed logo.

Why am I only taking Buzzfeed quizzes?

“No, I must…get…Patti…Smith…” I say to myself as I take the “Which Punk Icon are you?” quiz for the fifth time in a row. I got either Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill & Le Tigre) or Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols) every time.

I keep finding myself on the damn website and complain to my roommate, significant other and self, “I hate Buzzfeed, their articles are Storify-lists with unrelated pictures. WHY AM I ON THIS WEBSITE?

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m some weird article-related masochist. Or I am perpetually procrastinating. Or because there are quizzes and lists on my Facebook news feed every time I log on.  I see the cultural love for it–20-somethings who are dealing with work, school, family and other obligations are typically the main consumers of this engrossing but terrible media. It’s easy to post, re-blog and retweet; the lists the “articles” are complied into are easy to read. The quizzes have funny pictures and make you pick things like your favorite ice cream. What Millennial with five minutes to kill wouldn’t love that?

But here I am, taking the “Which Classic Rock Band Are you?” quiz after reading yet another article with no cited reporting or quotes. I really ought to get ready for work….nah, not until I get that I’m Hermione on the Harry Potter quiz. Why do I keep getting Hagrid???

I know I’m not the only one who takes and retakes these quizzes until either the Mills internet dies or I get my chosen outcome. One of my friends at Simpson University took the “Which Country Should You Live In?” quiz over and over until she got Madrid–twice–just to confirm that she was really meant to “live” there. I couldn’t stop wondering after she disclosed that fact on Facebook (the real front page for Buzzfeed).

Why do we do this? How come we need this completely arbitrary way of 1) getting what we want and 2) taking these fake personality quizzes? More often than not, you already identify with your favorite character, place, or what have you, so why care when some website sensation says you’re not Han Solo but Obi Wan Kenobi instead (who is just as cool)?

News” sources like Buzzfeed tell us something about ourselves. We want to read these quippy “news” one liners with a picture (like the time Buzzfeed talked about the Egyptian revolution via Jurassic Park pictures and gifs) and turn our brains to goo as we take and retake quizzes, wondering which Leo DiCaprio character we are.

I’d develop the thought more, but I need to find out if I’m meant to be in a relationship or not (no sweetie, I’m not breaking up with you…unless Buzzfeed says I ought to).

I mean, who can really turn down a five-minute (or half hour…) break from what they’re doing to find out what character from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc., take your pick, they are? Granted, I’ve been reading dense theory for the past two hours, so I think I should be able to take a few quizzes! And if you’re anything like me (who insists that their favorite character is a lot like them) then you’re retaking the dumb quiz until you get Hermione or Han Solo.

I really ought to go do my homework now…or bathe, or eat.

But maybe I’ll find out which Girl Scout cookie I am instead…


BuzzFeed, Who Am I? was published on February 11, 2014 in Column, Opinions

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