We’ve learned so much in 2014. We learned that Russia has a city that sounds like the name of a blonde telepathic waitress and vampire lover. We learned that Patrick Stewart is gay, and then we learned he isn’t. We learned that Ron and Hermione need marriage counseling, and we’re heartbroken about it. We learned that Alec Baldwin has feelings too. But most importantly, we’ve learned about ourselves.
Take me, for example. Before 2014, I never knew I should live in West Virginia, or that if I were reincarnated as a dog, I’d be a Corgi. I never knew if I fell asleep and woke up in King’s Landing, it would be as Arya Stark. These are critical, life-altering lessons that deserve to be shared with my 508 Facebook friends, both so that they can see me for who I truly am, and so they have the opportunity to become acquainted with themselves for the very first time. The shadowy corners of my identity that before were dark, are now lit with blinding fluorescent bulbs.
Remember back when there was no clear way to determine which member of Destiny’s Child you are? (I might have Beyonce’s booty, but I have Kelly’s quiet sparkle. So, who am I? Keyonce? Belly??) Remember when you spent hours wracking your brain over which European city you should live in? When you wondered which Thanksgiving fixing best represents the essence of you? (Cranberry sauce?? Am I cranberry sauce??) Remember when nobody could tell if you most closely resemble Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, Joey or–god forbid– Gunther?
Maybe you don’t remember. Maybe you’ve repressed the chilling realities of before Buzzfeed. Allow me to reminisce. Before, when we were met with existential questions like, “What Muppet are you?”, we couldn’t simply choose a song, a facial expression, a board game, a pizza topping, a baby’s face, and click! Answer: You’re Animal. And all doubts were quelled. No, we struggled. We conducted surveys. We receded into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. We fasted. We meditated. We climbed mountains and sought counsel with monks. It was the only choice we had. Do you think Gandhi knew which Charlie Chaplin character he was? No. He could wager a guess, ask his friends, but he’d never know for sure. You could never know for sure.
But now we know. All Buzzfeed needs are a few significant bits of information– your favorite movie, fast food joint, word, color, and weekend activity– and it can see through the screen and into your heart. It takes your uncertainty into its omniscient arms and whispers: Don’t worry, you’d win the Hunger Games.
The difficulties of self-discovery are over. You find yourself on Buzzfeed.
Now that I am equipped with this new insight, I can more accurately and more confidently enter into situations. I know that since I’m a Corgi, I couldn’t take a German Shepherd on my own, but would be fine with the help of my direwolf, although things are awkward with him since the pet I should REALLY have is a monkey, which might be a problem since I should be moving to London to be an athlete. But who am I to question the great all-powerful Buzzfeed? I’m going to be an athlete!
Here I come, Sookie!
Alena Dillon is the author of the humor collection I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean.