A site all about me, me, me

John Gushue
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An interesting bit of research was released in late February. Jean Twenge, a researcher at San Diego State University, and her colleagues released findings that found that youth today are far more likely to be narcissists than kids whove come before them.

An obvious connection is the proliferation of social networks, which have already produced some mixed results.

On the one hand, websites like Facebook and MySpace are spurs for creativity and connection among people who can easily find a sense of community.

On the other hand youve got an awful lot of kids who think nothing about posting voluminous personal details, no matter how mundane, foolish, inappropriate and, yes, icky. To use a sarcastic phrase of recent times, thanks for sharing.

When I was referred to a fairly new site called Meosphere, I was instantly skeptical. The idea is pretty simple: you check off boxes in a wide variety of lists, and instantly, a portrait of yourself emerges.

Curiously, I found the process not nearly as narcissism-embracing as I might have thought.



Twenges research involves something called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Im not sure what components are involved, but as I wandered around Meosphere, I was curious about what that psychological test and this bit of online amusement might have in common. After all, Meosphere for each and every participant is about me, me, me.

And yet, after I had signed up and spent some time surveying a very, very long list of lists to consider, I found the process a little humbling.

I was able (no surprise to those who know me) to check off almost every entry on the American Film Institutes recent top 100 films list, but I could only make a few checks on the list of countries Ive visited. I ticked an even smaller list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ive seen.

I looked at the list of hobbies: yep, some familiar ones were there. Same with sports. But, again, what I have not accomplished is a very long list indeed.

Meosphere creates a graphical model of your lists, and this visual representation does get increasingly impressive as you add material to it. In fact, its pretty cool. There are other ways to view the data, including a resume-like PDF suitable for printing (and submitting, I would think, to exceedingly inquisitive potential dates).

Youre welcome to share your proverbial sphere with anyone you choose by e-mail or on your blog. For me, Im keeping it to myself; as much as Ive been blabbing about myself here, Ive become increasingly cautious about what I blurt out online.

To todays adolescents and young adults, that may seem strange but I bet a lot of them will come around as they grow up and learn how, for instance, potential employers know how to use Google, too.

Elsewhere this week



Fact: Many karaoke backing tracks feature wince-inducing synthesized notes. Fact: the pronunciations on online dictionaries are precise, but sound really awkward. Kudos to Dictionaraoke for combining the two with hilarious mashups. For instance, a variety of monotone voices pluck out each word to Abbas Waterloo (minus the whoa-whoa-whoas of the background vocals). An advisory: theres some adult content here.

All The Rocky Movies in Five Seconds


How misleading! This video takes not five but about 24 whole seconds to watch. You will, though, hit all the high points and low blows of Rocky Balboas cinematic career.

Its a hoot.

John Gushue is a news writer for CBC.ca in St. Johns. E-mail: surf@thetelegram.com. Read past Surfs Up columns and

daily updates at his blog:


Organizations: San Diego State University, American Film Institutes, UNESCO Google

Geographic location: Ive

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