I do not, as a rule, spend time on BuzzFeed.com
In fact, I am not even going to open a tab and visit the BuzzFeed website and click on the”About” tab to see what BuzzFeed has to say about its vision, or mission, or evil plan for world domination. Because I do not want to be assaulted with what I will surely find there: pop-up ads, weird clickbait images that flash, and … quizzes. Lots and lots of quizzes.
Because what I do know for sure about BuzzFeed is that they are responsible for those infernal online quizzes that everyone was (still is?) posting every five seconds on Facebook and across other social media platforms. The quizzes are things like, “What Power Ranger Are You?” or “How Much Cooler Are You Than This Tree Trunk?” or “QUIZ: We Can Tell You Exactly How Old You Are By What Candy You Like.”
Now, these kinds of things can be fun. In small doses. If you don’t have anything better to do and … I’m not going suggest that you surely, surely have better things to do than take more than like two BuzzFeed quizzes in your whole, entire life but what do I know? Maybe you get great pleasure from knowing (for example) what kind of superhero sidekick you’d be if you were a superhero sidekick. I don’t know your life! Maybe BuzzFeed quizzes are research for you because you’re applying to be an actual superhero’s actual sidekick.
Anyway, I took one of these blasted things not too long ago. I cannot tell you why that was. The quiz I took was one of the ones I mentioned: the “We Can Tell You Exactly How Old You Are By What Candy You Like” quiz. Maybe I just wanted some candy at the time and didn’t have any and this dumb quiz was a stop-gap? There were big pictures of candy in the quiz, so maybe that was it.
Most of the questions were “this vs. that” questions, which basically made taking a BuzzFeed quiz like playing a video game. Click. Click. Click. Others were multiple choice, sort of. As I went through the questions, I jotted down some of them so I could tell you about it later. My selections in boldface:
Cape Cod Saltwater Taffy vs. AirHeads
Werther’s vs. Jolly Ranchers
Skittles, Haribo Gummi Bears, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids
Twix, KitKat, Almond Joy, Butterfinger
At the end of the goofy thing, I was informed EXACTLY how old I am, just as they told me I would. Would you like to know EXACTLY how old I am?
I am 89 years old. According to BuzzFeed. Because of what candy I like. On the internet. I am an 89-year-old woman.
That I am suddenly an octogenarian feels right in this situation. I’m awfully grouchy about the kids and their koo-koo crazy BuzzFeed internetz, after all. But I do feel a little defensive. Why are delicious candies like Werther’s Originals and saltwater taffy the selections for those beyond the bloom of youth? Why should liking a lame, lightweight KitKat make me younger, while sweet n’ crunchy Almond Joy makes me older?
But this is the problem with BuzzFeed quizzes and so much content like it on internet: The more you try to make sense of it, the more you are frustrated, because it doesn’t make sense. It’s not supposed to. It’s not designed to. Stuff like this is space garbage, internet trash floating around in a galaxy of zeroes and ones.
The good news is that I don’t have a single gray hair.