My Week 229: Facebook Doesn’t Know Me At All

I’ve been really sick this week, so here’s something from a few years ago that still applies today—I hope you enjoy it!

Have you noticed the increasing proliferation of bizarre Facebook quizzes that purport to identify different aspects of your personality with absolute accuracy? While they are, for the most part, as generic as horoscopes in telling you about what kind of person you are, they are getting more and more desperate for new topics as they attempt to mine your data. At first, it was TV shows or films, like “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?” or “Which Bond Girl Are You Most Like?” Respectively, I got Arya Stark, and Xenia Onatopp, former Soviet fighter pilot and top assassin. This was very disappointing—I really wanted Daenerys Targaryen, Mother Of F*cking Dragons instead of a whiny little kid who makes lists about who she wants to kill instead of getting revenge by setting people on fire or getting her badass husband to pour molten gold on her enemies’ heads. Also, I would have preferred Kissy Suzuki, the badass Ninja Bond Girl. Still, it was better than some of the other choices, for example Chew Mee, Holly Goodhead, Plenty O’Toole, or Pussy Galore. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks that female characters in James Bond movies are named by giggly 12 year-old boys?

“Hey Danny, why don’t we name the new Bond Girl ‘Perky McBoobs’?”
“Oh my God, dude–hee hee hee–that’s AWESOME!!”
“And we’ll call the new Bond Villain ‘Dick Wanker!”
“SHHH! Here comes my mom!” 

But now these quizzes run the gamut from the strange to the ridiculous. I’ve been doing them for a while, and I’ve reached the following conclusion: Facebook doesn’t know me at all. In the last few weeks, I’ve been told that my age is 20, that I will have a baby in the very near future (much to Ken’s and my collective shock), that if I was an element, I would be hydrogen, and that my favourite food is ice cream. Let me just clarify—I’m more than double that age, the only “baby” I currently want comes from either Tiffany’s or the Humane Society, I am PALLADIUM, thank you very much, and I hate ice cream with a passion. I don’t want to embark on a rant, but why the hell would I want to eat something so cold that I can’t taste it? How can Facebook claim to know me if it doesn’t realize my favourite food is steak wrapped in bacon?! Which, to anyone who is not a vegetarian, is known as ‘Nature’s Perfect Food’? And now, I’m totally distracted by the thought of bacon-wrapped steak, and will have to put writing this criticism of Facebook quizzes on hold while I go to the grocery store. Well played, Facebook.

Ok, I’m back. To continue, not only are these quizzes seldom accurate, the path to arriving at a conclusion has become so random and convoluted that I swear Facebook is just making this sh*t up. Case in point: I recently took a Facebook quiz called “Which Philosopher Are You?” It sounded a little more up-scale than “Which Kardashian Sister Are You?”, so I thought I’d give it a whirl:

Question 1: “What is the most overrated virtue?” Ok, well this sounded somewhat philosophical. There were several options, including Honesty, Faith, and Courage, but I went with Chastity on the grounds that IT’S STUPID. That, friends, is an example of empirical reasoning, which is what all great philosophers are good at.

Question 2: “Pick a Desperate Housewife.” I had NO idea who any of these women were. Would a philosopher actually watch this dreck in the first place? Again, I used my powers of mad logic, and chose a woman whose name began with ‘A’, because ‘A’ is the first letter of the alphabet. And the cool thing was that her last name began with ‘B’. Angie Bolen. A totally logical choice, even if I had no f*cking clue who she was.

Question 3: “Vegetarians are….” There were several choices, mostly negative, like ‘Missing out’, ‘Annoying’, or ‘More moral than you’. I chose ‘Probably right’; the fact is, I would BE a vegetarian if it wasn’t for the whole ‘steak wrapped in bacon’ thing, which I just can’t let go of.

Question 4: “Pick a condiment.” I was torn between soya sauce and salsa, but I went with soya sauce, because if these questions have ANY bearing on what philosopher I’m most like, I’d rather be Confucius than Gongora–I’ve seen too many sci-fi movies to not believe that comets are harbingers of doom.

Question 5: “Worst thing you’ve ever done?” I wasn’t copping to anything except Gotten Drunk or Stolen Sweets. I picked stealing candy, because aren’t ALL philosophers alcoholics? Drunkenness will not define my philosophy. I stand by that statement. Also, once when I was 4, I took a piece of bubble gum from the variety store. My mom found out and made me go back and apologize to the store owner. It was so mortifying that I pretty much avoided anything illegal from that point on. In fact, I once got caught going through a red light and went to court just so I could tell the judge I was sorry. She reduced my fine—I call that karma. There I go, being all philosophy-ish again.

Question 6: “Pick a teen drama.” The only one on the list that I’d ever seen was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe this was setting me up to be Vlad the Impaler or something. Was he a philosopher? I’m sure he had a reason why he impaled all those people. Or maybe not. Sometimes philosophy is so f*cking enigmatic.

Question 7: “Your ideal Saturday night?” I was too distracted at this point by Facebook’s sidebar headline: “Miley Cyrus wore a prosthetic penis on stage last night”, so I randomly picked cooking. I hope to hell Julia Child was NOT a philosopher.

Question 8: “Which European city would you live in?” My first reaction was ‘Why isn’t Glasgow on this list?! WTF is up with that?’ Scotland had to have at least ONE philosopher, so I googled it. There was a list, but I didn’t recognize any of the names. Then I saw a picture of Steve Carrell (the American actor) next to someone named Michael Scot, and got suspicious that the Scottish philosopher site was also run by Facebook.

Question 9: “You promised to hang out with your Grandmother tomorrow. What do you do?” Some of the options were ‘Cook for her and her friends’, ‘Cancel at the last minute’, or ‘Grin and bear it’. Well, my grandmother passed away a couple of decades ago, so I chose ‘Look forward to catching up’.

Question 10: “Right now I am….” At this point, I had no idea how any of these random and absurd questions could lead to any particular philosopher except for Jean-Paul Sartre, so I chose ‘Confused’.

The program calculated my responses and came up with this: “You got: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Although you believe in individual freedom, you think that social contracts are necessary in order to allow society to function in a rational, non-impulsive way.” Close enough, Facebook, and in true philosophical fashion, I have logically concluded that it was my choice of Angie Bolen that led to this revelation.

I still had a little time to kill so I did the next quiz on the page which was “What Fossil Are You?” I went through the series of questions: Pick a vacation plan (visit a castle), pick a pattern (psychedelic), pick a moment from Drakes’ Hotline Bling video (WTF? Random.), pick a Greek goddess (Athena), pick outdated 90s slang (Aight), pick a moustache (Old-timey Western Saloon Keeper), pick a geologic time period (Ordivician, because it sounds Illuminati-ish and cool). I got this:

“You are just like an ammonite! These awesome looking sea-critters were everywhere back in the day, but not much is known about their behavior. Like them, you are elegant as fuck, but also seductively mysterious. People have been known to frame ammonites’ likeness on the walls of their majestic mansions and palatial villas and the same will be certainly be said of you one day.”

“Elegant as fuck” and totally philosophical? OK, maybe Facebook knows me better than I thought….

(Ken commented that he was confused by the fact that I normally put an asterisk in the middle of a swear word to keep this site a little more PG 13, but I used the F word twice at the end without an asterisk. I reminded him that they were direct f*cking quotes, so it was OK.)


59 thoughts on “My Week 229: Facebook Doesn’t Know Me At All

  1. Hilarious, as always… I usually avoid those quizzes as they access your details etc and I get all twitchy about it, but I took part in one that promised to try and guess what sort of cheese I am recently. Unfortunately, every time I got to the end it crashed and so eventually I had to walk away and just accept that I would never know…

    You should totally make that your new tag line ‘Elegant as fuck, like an Ammonite…’

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Bacon wrapped steak is the height of philosophical sophistication, that alone should keep you philosophizing into your next post. I love “melty” ice cream, it’s nice and gooey and just the right texture to eat. As for you being palladium, I’d have to agree. I’m Ne (NEON), enough said. Thanks again Suzanne for a great post to make my laugh on a Sunday morning! 😎😃

    Liked by 7 people

  3. I am currently combing my silver white hair while my dragons flash flame my bacon wrapped steak and watching Buffy. Philosophers and Fossils? Now I know what those who did not get to be “Daenerys, Mother of f*cking dragons” do on FB… LOL, hysterical post!!!

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Thanks for the Sunday laughs – I definitely need some with this hangover.

    I wonder how many people in the world have a full time job of making these quizzes for social medua and programming the answers, etc. That would be an interesting “The Office” style show!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. It’s definitely timely that Facebook doesn’t know you because it’s still creepy how they collect your data even when you’re not logged into Facebook, and even though ammonites are pretty cool looking they’re basically just big chambered nautiluses, which have only survived because they spend all their time going backwards. You’re a much cooler fossil than that.
    And I think real adults write Bond films now but villains named “Dick Wanker” will always be funny.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Ugh I’m sorry you’re sick, hope you feel better. I stopped doing those quizzes for the same reason I won’t get those DIY DNA kits – not giving away any more free info to the powers that be. I’m two quiz calculations away from garnering a tin foil hat and using burner phones.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Get better quick! Or is it “quickly.” “Quickly get better,” might be the way to say it. Whatever. Stop being sick! I hope that helped.

    I’ve taken every Facebook quiz there is but can honestly say I don’t remember what the answers to any of them were. I think I am Iron Man, which makes sense. And I’m going to die in 2196 or something like that. In my past life I was Leonard Nimoy, which makes a few overarching years kind of awkward.

    Anyway I hope you quickly stop being sick. The world frowns when you frown!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Suzanne,
    I think you totally rock the nautilus rock fossil even though you’re feeling under the weather; which I suppose is better than being under a rock — and fossilized! HA! I know I’ve taken some of those quizzes before but I don’t remember which ones; it’s been awhile. What I most remember is that every time I’d try to click on an answer, the stupid answer would move and I’d hit some stupid advertisement and then I’d get lost and — ya know, I probably never finished one of those quizzes, come to think of it. Ah, well, probably for the best! And yes, which rock star would you be? Inquiring minds want to know! Personally, I’d want the vocal power and range of Ann Wilson of Heart, I’d want the ability to play guitar like David Gilmour and I’d want to be able to do high kicks like David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame. So, yeah, mash all of them together and that’s just plain weird. But who would I want to dress like? Any ideas? Great post as always! Feel better soon! Mona

    Liked by 3 people

    • If I could be any rock star, I would be Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters–he’s so awesome! But I’ve always wanted to dress like Stevie Nicks so I don’t know how that combo would work!


      • Ah, yes! Late last night, I knew I’d forgotten someone! I would definitely want Dave Grohl’s energy and his amazing ability (super human power, if you will) to chew gum and sing at the same time! How the hell does he do that? So, yes, I could definitely see you as a Dave Grohl/Stevie Nicks combo rockstar alter ego! Stevie’s got it going on with the outfits! Mona

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Before the Brexit referendum, lots of those quizzes were being passed from person to person (or from algorithm to person) and they turned out to be Cambridge Analytica trying to figure out who to target about the referendum. The personality type they were looking for, I think, was malleable. I’m not sure what philospher that corresponds with. My hunch is that it’s all assigned randomly, like those eight-balls that stores used to sell (remember stores?). You’d turn them upside down and they’d predict the future for you from six or eight predetermined, vaguely worded sides of a something or other floating inside it.

    Liked by 2 people

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