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Monday, March 17, 2014

Everybody Wants to be Pooh

“Tell me more about . . . myself.” - Jafar, Aladin

Don’t you just love all these online quizzes?

But let’s face it: taking little quizzes for little revelations about our own personalities is not a new thing. In the pre-Internet days, they were used as ice-breakers at workshops.
I was once in a group asked to draw pigs on our napkins. Then the speaker revealed what our drawings said about us. (Drawing a pig in profile meant one thing, if you drew all four legs it meant another, and the way you drew the tail revealed something about your sex life.) We loved it, as if it really told us anything true that we didn’t already know.

Fast forward to right now, and my FaceBook feed is full of people proudly proclaiming, “I’m Sheldon.” “I’m the Dowager Countess.” “I’m Captain Picard.” “I’m The Eagles.” “I’m Fozzy Bear.” Or that they actually belong in the 1960’s. In Minnesota.

These quizzes are quick, appealing, fun, and make us feel affirmed. Nevermind that they’re slapped together by folks who know more about popular culture than they know about psychology or personality. Myers-Briggs Type Indicators these things ain’t.

They were fun for a while, but I swore them off recently when told, “You’re Penny.” I am so not Penny. (Although, true, I did refuse to answer the math question.)

My favorite in this genre is “What Prime Number Are you?” (“You probably think you’re an 11, don’t you? Everyone thinks they’re 11.”) Huh?

Long ago I read The Tao of Pooh (as in Winnie The . . .), and I remember it said that everyone thinks he’s Pooh. Everyone wants to be Pooh. But very, very few of us are Pooh. (He’s like the Master, see?)

We know who we really are. And we know which character – from Winnie the Pooh or anything else – that we’re most like.

I’m Rabbit. And Rabbit says, “No. More. Quizzes. Go read a book.”

Oh, and by the way, you’re not Elizabeth Bennet, either.

-Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine

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