Nov 1, 2021

Facebook (Oops. Meta) Questionnaires: Facile, Questionable

A new survey for those with entirely too much time on their hands

By Ed Goldman
In honor of All Souls Day, let’s talk about a few of the souls you find on Meta (nee Facebook). Some not only have a lot of time on their hands but also assume that so do you. As a result, they create surveys of questionable merit—as most surveys are, anyway, especially if funded by a government grant—and put them out there in the cyber galaxy.

Sure enough, an inquiry as innocuous as, “Do you remember this device from your childhood?” can elicit dozens, sometimes hundreds, of replies. The device shown is a carrot peeler—and if you know what it is, you’re allegedly aging at warp speed.

Edgy Cartoon

Preemie Rock

Other questions may appear to be multiple-choice but are seeking only a singular response—like, “Which one of these familiar breakfast items can you do without?”—followed by a checklist that includes waffles, bacon, fried eggs, toast, and doughnuts.

I’m pretty convinced that none of those choices will move society closer to Utopia or even Dystopia, in terms of health or intellect. If a majority of respondents chooses to live without doughnuts, for instance, will this portend the sudden implosion of Krispy Kreme? And in the process, might it herald a new era free of adult-onset diabetes?  

Of course not. There are 221.6 million Facebook (oops. Meta) users just in the United States (according to Feta, natch. I mean Macebook. I mean…). If even 180,000 of them don’t like glazed doughnuts, you’ll still be able to find them at the company’s 362 outlets across this increasingly vast nation.

Well, one of our mottoes here at The Goldman State is, “Ours is not to question why/Ours is just to snarkify.”

Accordingly, here’s a collection of Meta questionnaires you’re welcome to post and take credit for (unlike Meta, we’re providing answers, which will appear at the end of today’s column unless the space has been preempted by Google or Amazon for an ad promoting bladder control):

1. Which one of these names does not rhyme with the others?

(a) Martin Mull

(b) Henry Hull

(c) Jonathan Livingston Seagull

(d) Mercedes Ruehl

2. You have to choose one of these to take with you to a desert island. What do you select?

(a) Captain William Bligh

(b) Friday, Robinson Crusoe’s manservant. (Crusoe, as you know, was the only person who ever got everything done by Friday. This is likely a Dad Joke.)

(c) A Starbucks Gift Card

(d) A book explaining the term “desert island,” which sounds rather contradictory

3. Are you old enough to remember what an Oldsmobile was?

(a) A car that was touted as not being your father’s

(b) A car whose manufacturer realized too late it really was your father’s and stopped producing it because no one under the age of 53 was buying it

(c) A kinetic toy for senior citizens

(d) No

4. Date yourself! The first rock performance you attended was:

(a) Bill Haley and the Comets

(b) Halley’s Comet

(c) Tom & Jerry

(c) Bamm-Bamm Rubble and the Sons of Barney


1. (d) owing to the Oscar-winning actress’s last name being pronounced Rule—meaning her full name sounds like a luxury car directive

2. (a) because the real-life villain of “Mutiny on the Bounty” was known as one of the greatest navigators in British naval history, or (c) , since it probably won’t be long before Starbucks opens a shop there

3. (d), since “olds” are what young people currently call anyone who qualifies to buy a home in a community called Leisure World. If this means you, and you’re about to do so, ask yourself why the developer demands you pay cash upfront for the home. You may decide you’re not quite ready for this.

4. (c), because you may not know that in 1957, the song “Hey Schoolgirl” was released by a duo calling itself Tom & Jerry. We soon came to know them as Simon & Garfunkel. Sorry for the literally cat-and-mouse question.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).