Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Defense of Internet Memes and Personality Quizzes

I know I'm not alone in feeling that many, if not most, memes out there are total wastes of time. And we all pretty much know that personality and internet quizzes are just taken to reinforce what we already believe about ourselves (though some would disagree), but I still think there's something to be said for these colossal wastes of time. Of course, before I say what that is, I'm going to subject you to a story:

When I was a kid, my favorite way of getting to know things about people was getting them to play a simple question and answer game. It was easy, non-confrontational and everyone loves talking about themselves, so it always worked well. Even on people who were normally very not-chatty, such as my mother. (Also, it passed the time - I was often lacking sufficient stimulation during boring errand-gettings I'd be dragged along to)

I had a set of standard questions and then I'd deviate from there. They usually started out with far-off kind of questions (Where would you like to travel? If you didn't live here, where would you want to live?) before gradually moving in to personal proclivities (What's your favorite food, movie, color? If you could have any pet, what would it be?). My mom was fairly good about answering the random questions, but whenever I'd get right down to what she liked or her favorite anything she never had an answer for me.

Her response was always: "It's easier to ask me what I don't like than what I do." And I thought how sad that she can only define her life by what she doesn't enjoy instead of what actually makes her happy.

So what I'm saying in defense of these memes and quizzes is: anything that gives us positive reinforcement about who we are and what we want in life is a good thing to me. Let's fill the internets with this tripe if that's what it takes! Living in positive self awareness is the only way to win this silly game of Life.

Related posts:
Becoming a Mysterious Lady
Thoughts On Learning By Experience
Would We Like You When You're Angry?

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Joe Pontillo said...

I love memes! A while back, Wired magazine published this special Internet from A - Z edition. It covered EVERYTHING that took the net by storm for 15 minutes. It was a joy to read. I think it's genuinely fascinating to see how these things evolve as enough time passes and enough people contribute to it. You can see how something originates, and how people keep piling onto it until it becomes this whole new thing of its own.

Long story short, all your memes are belong to me!

emawkc said...

" wastes of time."

That pretty much describes the entire Internet (except the porn sites, which I find highly valuable).

Tony said...

Meme's like all other things, in moderation.

Awesome post.