Know Thyself, Thus Sayeth Buzzfeed

Why does anyone have a blog? Well, I suppose that I have one because I want to get to know myself better by writing out my feelings and experiences. I could have done this privately in a journal, but I have elected to tell my secrets to the largely anonymous masses because attention and approval tastes good even if it’s given to you by people who don’t really know you. Yet I still convince myself I’m not doing it for the fame. You haven’t seen a listicle counting down the top thirty-five reasons I hate Caillou yet, and that’s probably the primary thing that’s keeping me from taking over the world. Elmo hatred is my bag, and these days he isn’t even bothering me all that much. Friends, that brisk breeze you feel is hell freezing over.

Hotdog-Eating Emily is essentially Napoleon Dynamite.

Hotdog-Eating Emily is essentially Napoleon Dynamite.

Aside from writing a blog, though, there are many other things I do in my quest to learn about the real me. One time I had a baby so I could see what Mom Emily looks like. (She wears a lot of high-wasted pants). Another time I moved to Korea to see what Emily Eating Kimchi is like. (Gassy. And likely inebriated.) Occasionally I go to Target to see what Emily Spending Money She Doesn’t Have is like. (She usually wakes up in the middle of the night with panic attacks but then takes solace in her chevron-printed throw pillows.) These are little parts of me that make up the whole.

But recently, it occurred to me that all these activities are superfluous to my quest to get down at the marrow of who I am. Why give birth, suffer buyer’s remorse, and edit my memories for a blog post when I could just take a quiz that will point me into the direction of what is essentially me?

Enter Buzzfeed.

I never know how popular certain websites are to people other than me, so allow me to explain what Buzzfeed is. It’s this website that I guess is technically news-oriented because it runs stories written from a journalistic angle on things that are going on around the globe. If you really need to read something about Senegal or schools in America, you would probably find it if you looked around enough. But why would you do that when there are tabs at the top of the site labeled “OMG”, “Fail”, and “WTF” that will lead you to short articles making fun of Pitbull? Buzzfeed is also a great place to learn about what’s going on behind the scenes on Workaholics, a TV show I would probably like if I were a nineteen-year-old guy named Luke who works at Gander Mountain.

More importantly, though, it has quizzes. Who can resist a quiz? I think it was Alexander Pope who said,

Know then thyself. Presume not God to scan. The proper study of Mankind is the web-based personality quiz you take after you read an article about funny autocorrects.

Wes Anderson Emily is sepia-tinted and always wears a scarf. And she goes to Europe all the time. No big. d.

Wes Anderson Emily lives in an Instagram filter and always wears a scarf. And she goes to Europe all the time. No big d.

There is a lot I have learned about myself from the Buzzfeed quizzes I have taken, things that I never would have known had I been wasting my time blogging, trying a new hobby, or reading my child an Eric Carle book. I learned that if I were a design aesthetic, I would be a Wes Anderson movie. This makes a lot of sense because whenever my hectic schedule allows for it, I enjoy sunbathing in a three-piece tweed suit and doing pencil sketches on tobacco-stained legal pads.

I learned that if I were a ’90s alt-rock girl, I would be Alanis Morissette. I had always pegged myself for the Jewel-type because I’m more weepy and pensive than screamy, but Buzzfeed knows best. I guess it’s time to let the angry Canadian in me out.

Speaking of Canadians, did you know that there is also a Buzzfeed quiz that will tell you what Canadian stereotype you are? I didn’t, but boy howdy did I need to know that deep down, I am a lumberjack. Other than toothless hockey player, lumberjack was the only other Canadian stereotype I was aware even existed. The problem with this one particular quiz was that it did not tell me what to do with this previously undiscovered facet of my personality. Am I supposed to eat only pancakes  – ahem, flapjacks – for breakfast now? Should I trade in my Prius for a Tundra? I already have some flannel shirts, but they are from the Gap. Do they still count? I need to know, Buzzfeed.

Particularly important to my understanding of myself were my results for the How Much Would Ron Swanson Hate You? quiz. How this fictional character from the NBC series Parks and Recreation would hypothetically feel about me if he knew me was probably the most important thing I never knew I needed to know. (Try diagramming that sentence if you’re feeling brave.) It turns out that this government-hating government employee who only consumes fat and proteins would tolerate me. This made me happy, but I can’t help but hold my results in this quiz against my results in others. I don’t think Ron Swanson would tolerate Alanis Morissette.

The mother of all Buzzfeed quizzes is the What Arbitrary Thing Are You? quiz. I answered a battery of questions and learned that the random thing that most closely aligns with who I am at my core is the ’90s musical group The Baha Men, notable for their song “Who Let the Dogs Out.” I interpret this to mean that I am a one-hit wonder, but it could also mean that I am good at barking melodiously.

Thank you, Buzzfeed, for helping me access all these parts of myself that I never knew existed. The knowledge that I am more than just a mom wearing ass-masking jeans imbues my life with so much more meaning. I’m a sepia-tinted Alanis Morissette who covers ’90s party hits while Ron Swanson reluctantly nods his approval. It’s all so clear now.

Have you ever taken a personality quiz, even if it was a tad more serious than the ones you find on Buzzfeed? What are some of the things you do to help you get in touch with who you “really” are?

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75 comments

  1. Since you are a Canada-ite, you are also probably extremely polite and say “eh” a lot. And igloo…you live in an igloo. Amiright? :)

    I am a Texan. Stereotype me.

    1. I am pretty polite, but I chalk that up to the fact that I was raised in the South. I think it’s our default setting. I also murmur “bless your heart” in my sleep.

      As a Texan, you’re eating steak for breakfast right now, right?

  2. This was epic. That’s all I have to say about that.

    1. It was pretty long, eh? ;)

        1. Oh paaaaleeeese! My posts are the Iliad, this is the intro to the Iliad. Note: not in quality, in length only. What a hoot! Love this, Em.

  3. It’s like it’s 2007 again and I just joined Facebook with all these quizzes. I can’t stop taking them…

    Signed, Kim Deal/Snow White/Princess Leia/Prince Joffrey/Snape/Leonard from Big Bang Theory

    1. But would Ron Swanson tolerate you???? This is very important information :D

      I always feel like I’m 13 and taking the quizzes in the back of Seventeen when I take Buzzfeed quizzes.

      1. Ron Swanson would tolerate me and I am an overly peaceful Canadian ;-)

  4. Twindaddy · · Reply

    I found out that if I were a Star Wars character I’d be Princess Leia. My armor ran and hid after that had been revealed.

    1. I’m a little surprised you’re admitting that! :D

      1. Twindaddy · · Reply

        I’m ashamed.

  5. I fail all the buzzfeed quizzes b/c I hate all pop music and everyone wants me to identify with a singer I have either never heard of, or if I heard of them, I have never (on purpose) listened to their music. The only one I liked pegged me as Sherlock (the Benedict Cumberbatch -slurp- version). Go figure. I did teach a class where we administered the Myers-Brigg’s personality test. The problem with those – for the most part- is that they give you a THIS or THIS scenario – often I’m leaning both ways or an entirely different way…which goes to show I’m more of an ZYXW then en ENTJ.

    I’m not surprised Twindaddy is Princess Leia – I bet he’d be magnifico in that Jabba-the-Hut-Slave-Bikini she was wearing.

    1. There has got to be a Bitstrip template that will allow us to get TD in a bikini. It simply MUST exist.

  6. Emily, this made me laugh so hard I may have woken the neighbors. That second Xanax kicking in might have played a part, but mostly I think it was you. ;)

    Thank you. Not only am I having Emily withdrawal, but it was just damned funny.

    1. I’m so glad I could give you a giggle! If there were a Buzzfeed quiz to help you determine what med you are, I’d probably be Xanax.

      1. That would be an awesome quiz. I think I would make it blow up. :)

  7. This was fun to read. The best quiz I have ever taken to know myself was parenting. I have learned I am quite humorous (after I say something my children often look at each other and giggle), I’m a touch bitchy, I don’t understand things and I’m not good at picking out snacks. I think Buzzfeed might be a bit easier on my self-esteem though.

    1. Amen to that! Parenthood is the best personality test I’ve ever taken too, only it’s hard to determine my results because the instant I think I’m doing things right I catch my daughter tap dancing with scissors on the coffee table. I *thought* I was laid back. Guess not. Thanks for reading!

  8. I’m a sucker for a quiz. I can’t help myself. I’ve also thought about how silly they are and asked myself why I do it….but I can’t help it. It all started with Seventeen and Cosmo. It’s their fault.

    1. Those Seventeen quizzes were my kryptonite when I was a kid. I probably took the “What Kind of Kisser Are You?” Quiz 27 times before I actually had my first kiss.

  9. Can’t wait to hear the results of the poll that tells you who would survive a cage match between all the different characters the polls say you are most like!

    1. How does Buzzfeed not have this quiz yet? Best one yet!

  10. Haha, glad to learn I’m not the only one who’s wasted valuable time taking a Buzzfeed quiz. (Thanks Facebook…) Can’t say I’ve learned anything insightful, but I can say I’ll probably regret those lost minutes when I’m on my deathbed. ;)

    1. Ugh, I typed a really long reply to your comment and then the Internet at this car dealership I’m at right now had a hiccup and ate it. Suffice it to say that my deathbed is going to be full of moments when I regret the time I farted away on the Internet ;)

      1. I hate when I lose a comment. So frustrating!

  11. I found out that Ron Swanson would have a “healthy, grudging respect” for me….for some queer reason that made my day! Now leave me alone! ;)

    1. I would’ve expected nothing less of you, Rob! Ron Swanson would love both of us! :D

  12. I did the parenting style one. I got the “you make parenting look easy” one. My husband got the “commander, hitler-esque” one. I am pleased with these results and cannot argue. Totally valid. Ha!

    1. I took that one too and it told me I was a helicopter parent! But I feel like everyone is a helicopter parent if their kid is a toddler. That’s the only way you can keep them from eating candles.

  13. Every time I go on Buzzfeed, I feel rashy.
    But I did check the Canadian stereotype quiz for, you know, quality control, and the correct Canadian answer to “How are ya?” is “Pretty good.” Every time. I also discovered that my Canadian stereotype is “defensive.”

    1. It’s better than getting Justin Beiber. (How typical am I that I am an American who had to mention the biebs in a discussion of Canada? I’m probably some kind of American stereotype.)

      1. Well, I didn’t expect you to say Anna Paquin. Who knew she was Canadian? I don’t even think she knew she was Canadian.

  14. Chaoscream · · Reply

    I have to agree Emily, this was very interesting. I read this with a giggle and grin as I made my way through your post I realized that somewhere along the way you describe a lot of people. Some are blogging to find themselves while other are found and blog to express themselves whichever is occurring it is a process of self discovery and realization that is enlightening.

  15. I once took a quiz to find out which Harry Potter character I was, hoping that I was heroic like Harry or bookish like Hermoine. I was Malfoy. MALFOY??!!! My world collapsed. I would even been happy with Neville Longbottom.

    1. I bet Neville turns out to be the prime minister. In an epic twist, he’s going to be the most successful one of them all!

  16. I’ve wasted SO much time on those stupid quizzes. But yeah, as soon as I see one, I’m all like “I GOTTA KNOW WHICH SOUTH PARK CHARACTER I AM!”

    And please publish that Calliou list. Please?

    1. It would be a really short list. I am the only parent on the planet who doesn’t mind Caillou that much. A lot of scientists are studying me.

  17. I’ve taken a few of these quizzes (and even some more serious psychology quizzes), but my favorite was the “Which Lord of the Rings character are you?” I got Galadriel. So apparently I am immortal, magically powerful, eternally beautiful, and basically queen of the world. No other quiz matters after this.

    1. The only thing that could be better is if you took a Which 30 Rock Character Am I? quiz and got Liz Lemon :D

      1. But I’m still Galadriel, so it’s all okay. :-P And Galadriel does not waste her time doing silly internet quizzes. Does she? *darts over to Buzzfeed in a graceful Elven way to check quizzes*

  18. I have never been on Buzzfeed, Emily. I’ll add it to my thimble list. I once took a quiz determining my “real age”. I came in under 50. I was so cheaply thrilled, I could have kissed the sky.

    1. Can I just say that I love that you have a thimble list? That is so much more doable than a bucket list.

  19. I love the things that you experienced in order to discover who you are — finding out who Mom Emily is and all that. With my fertile imagination, I imagined my kids growing up and saying they were raised by wolves, so I thought I should pass on the actual experience — hahaha! Seriously, “What Random Thing Are You?” — sounds like the Buzzfeed folks get their own joke — I love it. Now, I’ve got to find this one — so far I’m Courtney Love, the group Heart, I’m 35 years old, and a pb&j sammy — on another of these exercises in self-discovery, one other than Buzzfeed — I forget which one — I’m Captain Kirk! Oy! — Maybe I should just go on ahead and have a baby…

    1. I have to tell you, Sandee, there is far less handling of actual fecal matter involved in just taking the quizzes. Sometimes I wish I had stuck to that route of self-discovery. But Buzzfeed quizzes have yet to actually hug me, so maybe I’ll keep the kid. ;)

  20. I like you. You are fun.
    Buzzfeed teaches me so much about myself. Like what breakfast food I am. Or which 90s sitcom. I wouldn’t know the true Lisa without those quiz results.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I try to be fun. In fact, I’m about to go wash my daughter’s diapers. *Good times.* :D

      BTW, what breakfast food are you?

  21. I like you. You are fun.
    Buzzfeed teaches me so much about myself. Like what breakfast food I am or which 90s sitcom best describes my personality. Where would I be on the path to self discovery without that pertinent information?

  22. This is so funny. Those buzzfeed quizzes are a trip–I too got Helicopter parent, but that didn’t sit well with me so I retook it and changed two questions to find out I’m an “effortlessly cool” parent. Ahem. Something is wrong with their highly sophisticated test if the threshold between helicopter & effortlessly cool (whatever that means) is the difference of my Beatles song and something else. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Buzzfeed doesn’t have any scientists involved in their quiz creation at all.

    1. Hahahaha! Well, my personal favorite Beatles songs are “Help!” and “I Am the Walrus.” I never would have thought that these seemingly arbitrary preferences would determine my parenting hard-assery.

  23. OMG. Ron Swanson would LOATHE me, apparently. I don’t know if I can go on now. (However, when you get that result, you get a photo of Ron glaring at you from prison with the cornrows and the shaved mustache, so that was kind of awesome.)

    I get sucked into a black hole of these quizzes on a regular basis and I can’t get back out again. I don’t know why I need to know I’m Sherlock or Tyrion some sort of Roald Dahl giant or the Octopus Kid in Love, Actually but I see them and I NEED TO KNOW and then I’m always all “BUZZFEED QUIZ! You are WRONG! I am CLEARLY not this person!” and then I take another one to prove I’m intellectually superior to Buzzfeed and it all gets kind of blurry after that.

    I think I might need a Buzzfeed intervention.

    1. Is Tammy sitting behind him in the cornrow picture?! PLEASE TELL ME SHE’S SITTING BEHIND HIM!!!

      If you check yourself into Buzzfeed intervention, please take me with you. I lost a good week to those quizzes. A lot of frozen pizzas were consumed at my home this week.

      1. No Tammy. Just Ron. Sigh.

        I wonder what Buzzfeed intervention would be like? A stark room, no Internet, us forced to (gasp!!!) figure OURSELVES out?!?! *shudder*

        1. Ugh, they’d probably limit our Internet reading to whatever’s on the Yahoo! homepage.

  24. See, I clearly already know who I am deep down inside.
    Does that stop me from taking these quizzes? Dear goodness, no.
    But when I get a result I don’t like, I go back and fix my answers accordingly.
    Like hell the city I really should be living in is LA. Yuck.

    1. I have never met anyone who lives there that actually likes it there. My best friend lives in Pasadena and she is not a fan of it at all.

      1. One of my good friends loves it there, born and raised. It suits her.
        To each his own.

  25. Yes, I take these quizzes. Apparently I am a professor and an Idaho-Mormon. Yes, they have a what type of Mormon are you quiz. Don’t worry, you can take it even if you aren’t one. :)

    1. Because I’m sure you always wanted to know what type of Mormon you would be…right? ;)

    2. I just took that one and got Pacific Island Mormon. I don’t even know what that means. I also never put it together that Napoleon Dynamite was a Mormon movie, even though some LDS friends of ours mentioned that they actually knew the guys who made it.

      1. Yes! Napoleon Dynamite was created by a Mormon! I don’t know what Idaho Mormon means either. So, don’t look for an explanation from me!! Just tell yourself that a Pacific Island Mormon is way better than being a UT mormon. Believe me, I know a LOT of those. And, they can be super annoying. ;)

  26. hahaha this is amazing! i too would also be alanis, and upon taking the seinfeld quiz, found out i’d be george, but i’m definitely more elaine.

    1. I was J Peterman when I took the Seinfeld quiz. I definitely should have been Elaine too because I used to write copy for a catalog!

      Thanks for reading!

  27. I have yet to take the quizzes, because what if they don’t turn out right. Ha ha! I’m liking the new blog look. Looks great!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I am completely addicted changing my blog look around. It’s a lot cheaper than buying new clothes! I think I’ll keep it this way for awhile, though. :D

  28. I just did that rock chick one. Apparently I’m Courtney Love – “a force of nature, and you’re completely ruthless in the pursuit of your ambition”. Yeah, right. Only when I have to compete for M&Ms.

    1. For me it’s Pop Tarts. No one who values their kneecaps should mess with my Pop Tarts.

  29. It’s funny you mentioned Caillou. That show has bothered me for years just for one reason. Just draw the whole screen!!!!! Don’t leave all this artsy white space around the edges. So annoying.

    1. Are you in Canada or the US? Don’t ask me how I know this, but in Canada, the show has this framing device where a teacher is reading the stories of Caillou to her class, so the white frame around the TV is supposed to look like the pages of a book. Still doesn’t explain why it still exists in the US version of the show, though.

      1. I’m in the US. That’s a cute idea from Canada – but I feel like that would be just as annoying eventually as the white space. A valiant effort from our friends up north.

  30. This post is all kinds of awesome. Funny you aren’t down with Elmo – Barney freaked me out as a kid – and still does. These new Facebook quizzes told me I should be living in South America working as a movie director, driving a Subaru Forester. Btw: very brave of you to move to Korea. Do you still eat Kimchi with the same enthusiasm? I’m following you now – so funny!

  31. I’m so glad to meet someone who as enthralled by BuzzFeed quizzes as I am! I take at least one a day. They’re crazy addictive, and usually not too far off.

  32. […] professionally. If you’re looking for humorous posts about parenting or other topics such as Buzzfeed, her blog is the place to be. At the very same time, Emily can share pieces full of such […]

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