Shaun the sheep

Or how online tests decide who I am

The Internet makes our lives easier. This fact has turned into an understandable and already primitive point for everyone. The world wide web and its services can do basically everything: find things for you, buy them for you, entertain you, educate, connect with people and also help you. It seems though that entertaining and online shopping have become the leaders of a quasi real life immersing deeper and deeper into the Internet jungle. Though we should give them credit as having fun and enjoying some distraction in gruesome reality is something that all of us need, permanently (if you love to procrastinate) or occasionally (when you get a spare moment and the boss is not watching. Oops, bosses stopped watching in March!). Videos and tv-shows can easily and quickly get boring as there are about 4 main plots in life (love, hate, business and their combinations). Reading requires more effort because it forces you to concentrate harder even though you just trying to entertain yourself when reading something online. So, you read but at the same time you have to admit that you do not know too many people who read M. Foucault or J. Habermas online. So, then the question arises: what people love to do on the Internet even more than having fun? One might be surprised but people find it fascinating to learn things about themselves! Undoubtedly, it differs per person as it could be some meticulous research about one’s ancestors or  some random topics but every human being is born with a certain degree of curiosity that keeps quiet for a while and then shows up unexpectedly screaming “Yes, that’s exactly me!” or “No, no way!”

The best pill to take if this inquisitive feeling becomes too overwhelming  is tests! Online tests. There are hundreds of them around, starting with extremely silly ones like “which fruit are you?” or “what colour you should wear today” and continuing with those that “open your eyes” and draw your attention to some new parts of you which were non-understandable or non-recognisable before. IQ tests, Personality tests, tests about mental health and psychological condition are just a small fraction of varieties available on the Internet. But like with avatars, blogs, consumer reviews and ads one must ask, “Are those tests really reliable?” “Can I trust the results?”
Ï hope you can already feel the suspense building. So, take a deep breath, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated (time for a sip of water, buddy!) and I’ll do my best to give you a quick and undeniably truthful answer to this question!

First, quite a lot of tests love the structure “this or that”. This leads to the first issue, that is of falling into in-between categories as “this” or “that” or “yes” or “no” answers do not correspond and so at the end nothing really fits us. If we finally choose the answer the results will not be correct.
The second issue is you being sincere and true to yourself. Online tests rely only on your answers, whereas in real life the specialist can check details, watch our gestures, the tone of voice, mimics to ensure the truth comes out as it is.  When it is just you and the screen then there is no help. Being honest with yourself is usually hard and we tend to make ourselves “better” by choosing the answers which sound more pleasant or supportive to us and which we want to have as a part of our identity. Finally, the sources of tests are frequently unknown and/or unreliable so there is no guarantee of the correctness of questions, their types, order, and, of course, results.  So, if you think about online tests more critically you will immediately realize that there are a lot of pitfalls. But if you don’t mind discovering that you used to be sheep Sean in your previous life or may need to give birth to a boy in future when you turn 60 online tests might be your best Internet entertainment service ever!