Why All These Quizzes?

If you’re like me, you have a Facebook friend or two (or three or four) who posts their results from all those “Which *name of a TV show* character are you?” or “What time period should you live in?” quizzes. Even if you aren’t posting the results yourself, you’ve probably clicked on a few of them to see what your results are. It’s fun, it’s harmless, and it’s ridiculously popular. But why?

Several people are writing articles to answer the question Why Online Quizzes Are Taking Over Your Facebook Feed or discuss The Unstoppable Rise Of The BuzzFeed Quiz. Explanations include: we like to believe life can be chategorized, we’re on a search to answer the question “Who am I?”, we want to fit in with something, we want affirmation of how we see ourselves, and we’re looking for a distraction to combat the sense of information overload.

I like quizzes too. On the more respected/serious side, I’m interested in Myers-Briggs personality tests (I’m an INFJ). On the lighter side, I’m just as guilty of wanting to know which sandwich I am as the rest of you.

Which Divergent faction are you?

Who were you during the Renaissance? William Shakespeare (are you comparing me to one of the greatest writers ever? please, continue)

Which Doctor Who Doctor are you? 10th Doctor (of course — my favorite)

What state do you actually belong in? Minnesota (why?)

Which super power is right for you? Super smarts (you may all feel free to laugh)

Which Disney prince is your true love? Prince Eric (um, no)

One of the articles I linked above said none of your Facebook friends really care whether you’re more like Kirk or Spock (I’m Uhura by the way). In part that’s true — we want to find out what result we’ll get far more than we care about your result. But I’ve also enjoyed finding out that one of my former professors “is” Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory (which surprised none of his students, though he couldn’t understand why because he’s never watched the show).

On the whole, though, any connection from taking a quiz like this is superficial. You can’t maintain a relationship based on Facebook posts, and friendships aren’t deepened by learning what kind of sandwich you are. So maybe the larger issue regarding online quizzes is that they’re another way the internet allows us to kill time while keeping up the appearance of interacting with other people. It’s a poor substitute for real conversation though, as I was reminded by spending this past Sabbath in a place with no cell-phone service and no wi-fi. Instead, there was a  wonderful group of people to spend time with while we talked, walked up and down steep hills, and made popcorn over an open fire. And I didn’t miss Facebook or quizzes at all.

The Mystery of the Weigh Stations

Weigh Station: CLOSED

I drove over 1,000 miles last weekend on the way to and from visiting a dear friend. On the way, I had ample opportunity to muse about the complexities and mysteries of life, including weigh stations.

You know what I mean — those little places along highways ostensibly built as “a checkpoint along a highway to inspect vehicular weights” (according to Wikipedia). But they’re never open. There’s usually a sign that says “weigh station” and then in glowing letters it says “closed.” I think prior to this trip I’d seen only one that was open and had a truck driving into it. Coming home I did see a weigh station sign with glowing letters that said “open,” but I never saw the weigh station. Very mysterious if you ask me.

And yes, I did do my research on this and found out about the electronic bypass systems with scales embedded in the road so trucks can be weighed without actually entering the weigh station. But the weigh stations are still there, mostly closed from what I’ve seen, and I wonder what they might be used for. Here are my top theories:

  1. They are entrances to secret government facilities, hiding in plain sight like the purloined letter. And being a weigh station, even an out-of-use one, means no one would think it too terribly odd if a truck drove in and delivered secret something or others.
  2. The entire weigh station thing is a cover for an alien invasion. They landed here and set up weigh stations, edited Wikepedia, and no one noticed because everyone assumed the stations were someone else’s jurisdiction.
  3. 42. It’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything, so I’m assuming that includes weigh stations.
  4. They actually are what they claim to be, but have now been taken over by some kind of secret organization. I’m picturing men in floor-length cloaks with masks whispering “What’s the password?” and speaking in Latin.
view from my car of a weigh station I passed on the way home
view from my car of a closed weigh station I passed on the way home

Personally, I’m leaning toward number 2. But that might just be because I’m starting to get excited about Falling Skies coming back on the 22nd.

What are your off-the-wall or so-strange-it-just-might-be-real theories? Doesn’t have to be about weigh stations — could be anything that has the potential to be far more interesting than most people assume.


What If …

Instead of my usual Bible Study type post for Saturday, I thought I would share a few of the Bible-related thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind lately. It would be awesome if these sparked a discussion in the comments 😉

Green and Blue

What if the sky and oceans are blue and plants are green because those are God’s favorite colors? I know about the scientific explanations for why chlorophyll in plant leaves is green and how the atmosphere scatters blue light, but I’m thinking about when the science behind the colors was created. I’m sure God could have set up the world so it looked purple and orange, or red and yellow, or any other combination of colors.

The really cool thing is, if you Google “Which colors are the most relaxing?” the top results are green and blue. Psychologists, designers, and certain philosophies all agree these are the most calming, peaceful colors. Blue triggers feelings of serenity, lower blood pressure, and people are more productive in a blue room. Green is calming, refreshing, and the easiest color for our eyes to look at. Isn’t it amazing that God surrounds us with colors designed to make us feel better?

Planks in Eyes

Reverendfun.com 01-23-2001What if the parts of the Bible we avoid the most are the parts we need to listen to the closest? Perhaps the verses that make us angry are the ones which should inspire us to search for planks in our eyes (Matt. 7:1-5).

Here’s  a couple examples I’ve been thinking about. The Bible teaches that women are to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22-24), not teach in church(1 Tim. 2:12), and maintain a physical appearance that clearly shows they are women instead of men (Deut. 22:5; 1 Cor. 11:2-15). Perhaps feeling threatened by such verses is a sign that we could be doing better at exercising Godly femininity. Similarly, there are plenty of verses instructing Christians not give the people of God a bad name by resisting human governments (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:17). Yet these verses are often ignored or scoffed at by those in the church who are most vocal politically. It bothers me.

Jesus and the MBTI

For my last “What if …?” I want to talk about a question that has lead several people to my blog recently. Looking at a summary of search terms used, I see “Jesus infj,” “is Jesus an infj?” and “was Jesus an infj.” Since people are ending up on my blog because of this question, I thought I would address it. To me, it seems almost sacrilegious to claim we’ve pinned down Jesus’s personality type. If there was ever anyone who couldn’t be classified or put into a single box, I think it would be Him. If, however, we accept the idea that personality types exist and people can be categorized by them at least loosely, having a specific personality type could have been part of Jesus’s experience when living a human life. With that as our foundation, I think it would be safe to say Jesus is most like the group David Keirsey called “Idealists.” Of this type, Keirsey says in the description on his website,

Idealists (NFs), as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self — always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey.

From there, we have four Myers-Briggs types: the Teacher (ENFJ), the Counselor (INFJ), the Champion (ENFP), and the Healer (INFP). Though I’ve read arguments that go back and forth on whether Jesus was an introvert or an extrovert, I’m not going to offer my opinion or try to narrow this down any more.