I’m tired of seeing personality tests on Facebook.

First, you have to give them access to your data, which I’m always surprised people are willing to allow. That said, do you really want to know what Disney villain encapsulates you?

Here’s another test that captures my attention: are you introverted, extroverted, an extroverted introvert, or an introverted extrovert?

“A rose by any other name would  smell as sweet.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

My daughter's husband, Jeff's Don Juan Rose (San Antonio, TX, 2013).
My daughter’s husband, Jeff’s Don Juan Rose (San Antonio, TX, 2013).

It would surprise most people to know that I’m one of the last two – – although I’m not sure which, as I haven’t taken the test.

I can go, go, go, go, go with people. And then, I just shut down. You can talk to Bill. Some nights when I come home, I walk right by and shut myself away for a half hour of reading or a nap. I’m just done.

When cooking, I sometimes use dim lighting, because lights are loud. I like to clean in my pajamas, because it signifies I’m not planning on going anywhere and am committed to the project. And I’ve been ignoring incoming phone calls before you could identify the incoming caller. There are times I just can’t talk.

My curiosity, here, comes from people’s willingness – or need – to be labeled online. I’m this, but not that. I want you to know I’m more like Cruella DeVille, less like Ursula.

It seems we haven’t learned a thing about labeling. We don’t like it when people get it wrong – you’re a bigot, a liar, a cheat.  But give us an opportunity to have some cliche attached – the Game of Thrones character most like you – and we hit “play.”

Not surprisingly, we want to be known, to have people see inside or beyond. Depending on where you meet me, you’ll only know a certain aspect. How can I tell you the whole of who I really am?

These games – the labeling equivalent of speed-dating – are doing us more harm than good. We take them, but who really cares which US President captures our characteristics? This is why I like Humans of New York on Facebook. I’m certainly not unique; it has over 8M likes.

Why is that? Because people are vulnerable, during a snapshot in time, to let a bit of their true selves show.

This is why an extroverted introvert (or is it introverted extrovert?) is writing. In the event of an accounting, I want to be accurate about the sum of my parts, not which Avenger is more like me.

 

 

 

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