Move Over Candy Crush: Personality is the New Social Media Darling


I wouldn’t consider myself a techie, but on occasion I have been known to dabble in the social media space—posting the occasional observational wisdom, a vacation picture every so often, and dare I admit it, a complaint here and there. But this blog entry isn’t about my world wide intertube surfing trends, or any highfalutin comments on the varying notions of privacy. Rather, I would like to take this opportunity to express my secret delight with the outputs of the latest pedantic personality pandemic. Surprisingly I’m not talking about the terrible alliteration of which that last sentence was so incredibly guilty. I am referring to the hokey but lovable evaluations that have become the most recent cross-generational fad.

Let me first say that I commend all those who are not only interested in self improvement but are also motivated to complete an inventory to gain perspective. So in a way, I am excited to see individuals spend time reporting their preferences to determine which Hobbit, Game of Thrones Character, News Anchor, OTC constipation pill or rare bacterial disease best captures their essence. But I think it’s important we lay down a few best practices before this branch of the industry really takes off.

Stay current: I understand if early 90s snap-bracelets or funky hair-trolls are still your thing. But I cannot for the life of me remember the names of the My Little Pony characters. And thus it’s hard for me to comment and relate to your results. (Ok that’s a lie, but I’ll never admit it online). Best to stay current so you can maximize audience appeal.

Do your due diligence: Was the sample against which the instrument constructed a stratified representation of the Muppet population? Should Fraggles have their own local norm? Was the test brought to you by a suspicious combination of letters that form an enigmatic acronym? These are questions that really should be asked before committing to an assessment.

Keep it neutral: I don’t care which political scandal or religious dogma says the most about your interpersonal style. I want to read about fun loving results like which Miley Cyrus phase best represents you. Or which Justin Beiber crime is emblematic of your management approach. However, I shouldn’t have to visualize the likes of brassy over exposed governors or congressional private parts to know how you prefer to be seen.

Not a standalone: When considering what kind of, say, vegetable or cookie you would be, perhaps it’s best to not use such evaluations as a standalone assessment. I recommend pairing them with the appropriate assessment center modules. In this example perhaps an In-Supermarket-Basket exercise would augment the results.

Don’t overdo it: I get it that you want to see yourself from varying angles. But must you take seven of these quizzes a day? Furthermore, I think you lose credibility when you’re equally excited about each one. I know it’s hard to contain yourself when you find out that you would be a poppy seed bagel. But honestly, after reading which waste management vehicle, computer antivirus software and CBS network television character you would relate to most, I’m on the verge of losing interest. Let’s cap it to 16 a week, shall we?

By choosing your social media assessments wisely you can not only ensure more valid results, you can also help me resist the temptation block you from my timeline forever. Thanks for considering these best practices going forward and for doing your part in making the internet, and my timeline a better place.