According to a tweet sent out by Rupert Murdoch’s chief of staff (and the bajillion online gossip news sources that picked up the story), the wealthy businessman took Buzzfeed’s “Which Billionaire Tycoon Are You?” and…wait for it…got himself!
For anyone who has never heard of a Buzzfeed quiz, it’s really just a silly quiz created by anyone and posted to the popular blog. Once you answer the series of questions, it normally gives the result, using reasoning on why you got the result that you did that typically compliments your personality. Sometimes the quizzes are clever and witty and other times they leave you scratching your head wondering why someone actually put time into creating it.
As there has been an uptick in the quiz taking lately, as well as the results being posted via Facebook, I found myself interested in this phenomenon that’s been trending these past several weeks. (Disclaimer: It’s important to note that the Buzzfeed quiz is not a new favorite pastime among online enthusiasts. I, myself, have been known to take a Buzzfeed quiz from time to time (how could I not find out what type of Emoji I am?!!). But the quiz taking (and, more poignantly, the results posting) has become much more frequent lately…and perhaps even a bit excessive.)
After doing a little Internet recon, I came across this recent article published by Metro. Keith Wilcox, a professor at Columbia Business School, discusses the “soft boasting” opportunities that each quiz provides on social media. He suggests that the increasing popularity is an indication that social media is evolving even more deeply into a forum to post positive things about yourself…just as long as it is in an understated, almost imperceptible way. In other words, Wilcox is concluding that instead of coming out and saying how awesome you are, it’s much more “social media PC” to let a quiz do the dirty work for you.
Perhaps less specifically related to solely quiz taking (because I do believe some people simply take quizzes for no reason other than combatting boredom or desperate procrastination) but focusing more on general social media posting, the professor’s comments did cause me to ask myself questions about our online interactions. Is this seemingly common need to self-promote a new human condition that is developing because of social media? Or is “soft boasting” on social media platforms really just a high-tech way of doing the same annoying crap we’ve always done? These are deep, needling questions that burn through my thoughts, weigh on psyche and take over my…
Oops, I just got distracted and took this Buzzfeed quiz, “Which Declining Social Network Are You?” I got Friendster, which is sooooo much better than MySpace. I just wanted you to know.