There are two kinds of Facebook quizzes, those created by users which usually consist of a list of countries, states, National Parks, widely known attractions, etc., and ask how many of these have you visited. The other is the silly quiz operated by who knows who that asks a question like which historical character were you in a past life; to find out, you click on a link, answer a few questions, and then end up with a graphic on your profile page showing a famous person with words like Malcolm used to be (or is just like) Teddy Rosevelt.
I avoid the second kind because everyone says they’re sponsored by agencies trying to find information of use for advertisers.
The user-made quizzes are kind of fun, but more trouble because to play, you have to copy, say–a list of states out of one user’s profile, paste it in yours, delete the YES answers from the previous respondent, and then type in YES next to each state you’ve visited. Since I’ve been to every state except for Alaska and Maine, I usually leave the YES answers from the previous user and add my own.
These quizzes are more fun when they start discussions. People who’ve only been to a couple of states often say why they’ve done so little traveling. Those of us who’ve been to a lot of states often had parents who lived and worked in multiple places and/or went on a lot of family vacations when during the summers of their K-12 years. It’s interesting to see these little glimpses in the lives of one’s online friends.
One odd thing about visiting states when one is in elementary school is how fast the memories fade by the time one’s an adult. I visited Washington, D.C. once with my parents and once with my high school band. I knew where we went, but when my wife and I visited the Capital with our extended family several years ago, my having been there before hardly mattered when it came to getting around the city or remembering specific sites. So, it’s nice to go back as an adult–and take pictures–and see places that have long been a distant memory.
I suppose there’s vanity involved in these quizzes asking what states we’ve been to and what foreign countries we’ve been to. When people have been everywhere, they like telling people they’ve been everywhere. I’ll confess, when I see the list of countries, I’m very much aware of the fact I’m one of the few people to say YES next to Vietnam, Hong Kong, and when it’s on the list, East Germany.
Whether or not my answers make anyone jealous, I have no idea. I do know that I’m jealous of people who’ve visited places I always wanted to see. So it goes.
Malcolm R. Campbell
Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing