Take this quirky quiz...
I'm sure we've all heard Bo Burnham's 'welcome to the internet' from his Netflix show 'Inside'. Pure genius. I think humour is one of the most powerful ways of raising awareness of important topics and this is no exception.
However, the 'take this quirky quiz' line got me thinking about the number of quizzes there are. You can find out which colour matches your personality, which F.R.I.E.N.D.S character you are, or what your favourite cheese is. Even if you thought you already knew...there is a quiz for everything.
One of the more concerning genres of quiz, however - 'find out if you have (insert diagnosis here). You can take a quiz to see if you have an eating disorder, depression, ADHD, Autism, the list is quite literally endless. You can take a quiz to find out if you're pregnant that includes the question 'do you think you might be pregnant?
In the UK, we're left in a medical dilemma when it comes to better understanding our symptoms. If we call the doctors, we know we're hard pushed to get an appointment. 'Is it urgent?' is usually the first question, and if you didn't call first thing and wait for 45 minutes you get through you can pretty much guarantee you ain't getting an appointment! Ask anyone - they have a story about how they couldn't get an appointment.
There are over 4.7 million people on an NHS waiting list right now. However, go almost anywhere else for medical advice and you'll be told to visit your GP.
It's no wonder so many of us flock to the internet for answers. But, is a lack of available GP appointments really the reason?
If GP appointments were readily available, would you pop down to your local surgery to discuss the same symptoms you Googled earlier that day? Probably not.
As a nation, we're ashamed to be anything other than a cardboard cut out of an impossible person. A perfectly healthy, functioning, hard-working, family orientated, gorgeous, rich, productive person who has it all. Have you ever met one of these people? Because I haven't. We have decided collectively that this is the standard. So if we fall anywhere outside of that - it's because we're wired wrong, we're faulty, there must be something wrong. We take the blame for not being something we don't even know exists - so we need answers. Why aren't we like that? There must be something wrong, right?
We Google our symptoms and decide we've got all manner of issues but we don't got and get these things confirmed. We decide we're not 'ill enough' or that it isn't affecting us enough.
I make no judgements about these people - people take these quizzes for all kinds of reasons and the outcome is different for everyone too. But I do think there are trends. I was one of these people. Sometimes I still am - when I use a symptom tracker and it tells me to seek medical attention, I ignore it! Why? Why do we do this to ourselves?
My theory is simply validation. Validation that there could be something else - a reason that we can't achieve the cardboard cut out status we feel so immensely pressured to be. But you know - you don't need to go and do a Buzzfeed quiz to find out if there are others like you, because literally, every other person in the world is like you (well maybe not Donal Trump, I think he's made of playdough).
If we could reach that point in society where we just talk about how we feel without fearing harsh judgement, or scary unknown consequences - we would all have a space to unpack these feelings. Instead, we push them deep down and go about our day as if nothing is wrong, and in solitude sit online searching for the answer as to why we had a panic attack in the supermarket earlier that day.
I can tell you now - this is that space if you don't know where to start. If that environment doesn't exist and we want to - we have to create it. Feel ready to admit what the weirdest online quiz you've ever done it? Comment below and tell me!