01 June 2009

How Well Do You Know Your Friends?

There's an app running through Facebook lately in which people make up quizzes about themselves and then challenge their friends to see how well they actually know one another. It sounds fun and light, right? Well, it's not and I'm about to tell you why that is.

First of all, the quizzes are made up entirely by each person. Unless this is the sort of thing that you craft in your spare time, you'd be surprised how much pressure there is to form a question about yourself with up to five multiple choice responses. The screen just sits in front of you, not saying a word as you struggle to think of something to ask.

Favorite movie? Yeah, that's an easy one. Isn't it? I mean, mine would be Lawrence of Arabia. Except, of course, that I've loved Batman even longer and can quote it verbatim. Although, come to think of it, I've loved The Transformers: The Movie even longer than that and can not only quote it verbatim, I don't even need the movie to be playing to prove it! So, I modified the question to see if anyone knew which movie I wanted to see in widescreen badly enough that I bought my first DVD player (the answer, in case you care, is Tombstone, which was only available on VHS in pan & scan).

Looking back over my questions, I am surprised--and disappointed--that most of them have to do with material things. Aside from the aforementioned DVD player purchase, I asked which Cincinnati Reds player did not sign a baseball I own and what is the name of my childhood stuffed animal? These are things that hardly matter to anyone other than me, so why would they be relevant questions to ask? Oh, sure, I asked if anyone knew which of five choices was a phobia of mine (water at night), but even that's hardly the kind of thing that testifies to any particular quality of friendship.

The most shocking thing about my quiz (for me, anyway) is how many answers have come when asked to place me on the political spectrum. I gave options from Far Left, Left, Moderate, Right and Far Right. I have always seen myself on the Left, though not too far. My personal choices and decision making probably favor more of a Right orientation, but I believe in principles that offer more leniency to society at large than just what I would ask for myself, hence my leftist identity. I thought for sure this would be a "gimme" question, but I've been placed on the Far Left and on the Right!

It gets even worse when you take the quiz of someone else's. So far, the best I've done is 30%, I think. Maybe there was a 40% somewhere, but I haven't even managed to hit 50% of questions on any of my friends. Now, in fairness, I've only taken a few and about half of those are people I know exclusively through the Internet (other Crohnies I've met via wearecrohns.org). Still, when you lived in an apartment building with someone for more than a year and you can't quite recall what kind of car she drove--even though you saw it every freaking day--it makes you feel a bit self-absorbed.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to craft a more meaningful quiz about myself.

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