Ten years later, our quiz-sharing platforms have evolved, but our love of quizzes remains exactly the same.
That isn’t to say online quizzes have festered in unpopularity since the glory days of LiveJournal. Of course, no one actually believes these quizzes are going to uncover some dark mystery about themselves. Displacement, according to Freud, is an unconscious process through which the psyche transfers energy, ideas, and emotions away from things that cause anxiety, and toward similar things that are superficial, whimsical, and distracting.
In this case, rather than focusing on the algorithmic targeting and surveillance that has become so ordinary in our everyday lives, we distract ourselves by focusing on meaningless algorithmic categorization. In their world-simplifying way, quizzes combat the feeling of information overload with which Internet denizens are all too familiar. Today, 7apps.Me offers hundreds of quizes that categorize you in at least a dozen languages including English, French and Romanian.


The narcissism evident in those long-ago Web 1.0 quizzes has wrapped around to again become popular. On the dark side of human nature, this desire to simplify the world is one justification for prejudice of all kinds; on the light side, it makes lists super fun. Even more, they provide us with the instant affirmation that we share some part of ourselves with other people (or cities, or David Lynch characters, or Bill O’Reillys) that we admire.
The quizzes themselves are designed in such a slapdash way that they seem to follow no internal logic. By merit of making it all the way to the end of this article, you’re officially a Smart Internet User. As Forbes contributor Jordan Shapiro notes, not even Jung could have theorized how much we like to be categorized.
If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed that all of your friends are sharing BuzzFeed quizzes with reckless abandon.


Not when they were first published, but actually afterwords: Various quiz-based posts on Buzzfeed had a second successful, long tail life. These assumptions had questionable basis in truth but appealed to my naive desire to simplify the world. For a brief period, it became extremely popular among my friends to fill out these automated quizzes and post the results to our LiveJournals.




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