Who are you?

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“Who am I?”

Back in the day people used to ask this question in front of the mirror.

These days, people usually ask it in front of computer screens.

Instead of deep bouts of self-reflection or traveling down long-winded paths of self-discovery, we try to gain insight into our souls by a simple click of our computer mouse.

How are we doing this?

By taking online personality quizzes, of course.

Internet users can find these quizzes on pop culture based websites such as BuzzFeed or Zimbio.
Once at these sites, there are many different types of quizzes to choose from.

The quizzes range from pop-culture based to upright non-sequitur.

On one page there’s “Which Harry Potter character are you?” Then all the sudden it’s, “Which kind of cereal are you?” or my favorite, “What kind of butt do you deserve?”

Riveting questions.

But an even more riveting question is why we take these quizzes.

Do we take them to soul search or do we just take them out of pure boredom?

Alexis Mulherin, a Delta College student and avid quiz-taker, believes people take these quizzes mostly for self-affirmation.

“It’s like the whole thing with people looking up their zodiac signs to see if they match the personality traits they think they have or want to have,” Mulherin said.

Before we take these quizzes, we already have a preconceived notion of who we already are or who we want to be.

Taking a quiz and garnering a result that you want is a rewarding experience.

After taking the quiz, we sometimes post the result onto Facebook to show the rest of the world how awesome we are. People would never want to post a result that could possibly be seen as “uncool.”

“No one takes a Harry Potter quiz to find out they’re a muggle,” said Mulherin.

To our peers, we all aspire to give off that Dumbledore-like persona.

Witchcraft and wizardry aside, these quizzes prove how much pop culture dominates our lives.

When people look back at us in the future, they will define us by our pop culture, for better or worse.

With every piece of media we digest, we try to look for ourselves within it.

People love to know more about themselves and pop culture has become one of the ways we can evaluate ourselves.

Delta student Ryan Camero admits to the prominence pop culture plays in the human experience.

“I feel like we live in a world where we look at pop culture and we use it to relate to day to day situations in our lives,” Camero said.

By relating our personalities with movies, television or literary characters, we feel validated.

These quizzes gives us the ability to see ourselves within the pop culture figures that we love.

After we complete each quiz, our curiosity is depleted and we’re ready to take more, anxious to see what the next quiz will tell us about ourselves.

The addictive quality of the quizzes is fed by the amount that are out there.

Hundreds upon hundreds of these personality quizzes exist online, ready to be opened.

We keep on clicking away until it’s time to eventually turn off our computers and we’re faced with an empty, black screen.

Gone are the images of Severus Snape, Homer Simpson or Miley Cyrus. And we’re faced with our own reflection.

And even after all of that quiz-taking and laborious clicking of the mouse we are still left with that one burning question:

“Who am I?”