As life goals go, I think self-awareness is underrated. You get to a certain point in the proceedings, and you start to wonder if you’ve done all the right things. Found the right person with whom you should spend your brief time on this planet. Wound up living where you are supposed to be. Taken all the right turns, professionally speaking. (Note to the literally minded: I don’t mean you should only take right turns to get to work. By all means, feel free to take as many left turns as is necessary to arrive safely at your destination.)
This is how I found out that I wouldn’t make a very good Mormon. Back in the day, a person who sought a greater level of self-awareness had limited choices: Sign up for a lifetime of psychoanalysis or perhaps find a guru who would tell you who you were supposed to give all your money to — sorry, who you were supposed to be.
In this age of Web-based intellectual discourse, however, we have the modern convenience of online personality quizzes. Today, all you have to do is log into Facebook to see that all your friends are discovering themselves by taking quizzes, leading to piercing understandings of where they fit in the grand scheme of things. Like which starter Pokémon they are. I’m a Squirtle.
Why spend money on therapy when you can join the wave of people discovering where they should live, what “Big Bang Theory” character they are, or what kind of tree they are (apple), just by answering a few seemingly random questions?
It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic, which is why I decided to go in search of my true self by making a pilgrimage of quizzes. My research department (my friend Amy and some of my readers) filled my inbox with ways to discover, among other things, my inner ’70s TV character. I’d like to see the Library of Congress deliver that kind of service.
What I discovered was that I’ve been doing a lot of things wrong. Apparently, I belong firmly on the West Coast (even though I’m a lifelong East Coaster), and I should live in one of the most hipster cities in the United States (I’m probably a bit too old to be a 21st-century hipster, having already been hip when it counted, which was in the 1970s). I discovered that if I were a programming language I would be slow but resourceful, and that, if I were a Mormon, I’d be the type that the Salt Lake City contingent would probably claim not to be related to (it’s got to be the booze and the caffeine.)
I started my journey with a “What City Should You Actually Live In?” quiz, because one’s sense of place is important. I’m a sunny-weather kind of person, and I also love a city with lots of culture and diversity. I got Portland, Oregon. Not bad, although the rainy season might do me in. I’m not much of a knit cap wearer, but I could make it work, as long as I up the amount of hair product that I currently use. “Hat-head” is a no-no no matter where you live.
Next, I took the “Which College Should You Actually Go To?” quiz, just to see if I could still build a solid legal case against my old high school guidance counselor, who took one look at my grades and promptly decided to change his own career. Huh. I got Stanford. I wonder if the statute of limitations on frivolous lawsuits has run out.
Since this column lives on a tech site, I thought it would only be fair to find out what programming language I would be, presuming I were made up primarily of code. If I had to take a strict personal inventory, I’d say that I’m made up primarily of Asian food and Cabernet, but it’s unclear on the BlackBerry website whether that influences the outcome. Anyway, this spiffy quiz tells me that I am a language called Prolog: “You look for different ways to solve a problem (mostly true). You take longer to solve them (Hey! Are you calling me slow?), but you usually come up with more than one solution.”
I couldn’t resist taking the “Which ‘Big Bang Theory’ Character Are You?” quiz on Zimbio.com, because I love the show. I got Penny, which means that the quiz said very nice things about the way I look but thinks that I’m not very bright. Sorry, Zimbio quiz: I coulda been a contender at Stanford, according to Buzzfeed’s quiz.
Finally, I took the “Which Decade Do You Actually Belong In?” quiz. I got the 1960s. At last, a result that makes sense. I’m a bit too young to have been a Woodstock attendee, but I’ve always felt like a flower child in my heart.
So, to recap: The gist of all this is that I am a 1960s hippie living in Portland, Oregon, who should have graduated from Stanford. I am made from a programming language called Prolog but I resemble an apple tree, and I apparently got into my hypothetical Ivy League college more on my looks than my brains. Also, I am a water Pokemon who has been disowned by the Mormons.
And I saved a heck of a lot of money on therapy.
Is there something weirdly popular on the Internet that you’d like explained? Write to Deb at buzzologyYT@yahoo.com and let her know!
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