So, there's this thing called Sporcle.
And I know all of you are most likely familiar with it and have used it to procrastinate on all sorts of things in all sorts of ways, but I believe I have taken Obsessions With Sporcle to a new, extremely embarrassing level with something I did yesterday. You see, I was going to keep it to myself, harbor it as a terrible secret that I should only ever mention as a party trick, but then I realized it would be the perfect topic for this blog post.
Because I'm going to change it from something humiliating to a source of pride! Maybe. If at all possible?
Here is the truth: yesterday, Sporcle asked me, "Can you name the Harry Potter chapter titles in order?" It's very persistent that way. It asks me that question a lot.
And, for the first time... I gave it a resounding Yes. With two whole minutes to spare.
Now do you see?! There are one-hundred-and-ninety-nine chapters to guess, and that isn't something that should be doable. That is supposed to be impossible. That's doable only if you've played Sporcle Harry Potter Chapter Titles about fifty-eight million times. Which I have, I'm afraid. Sometimes while I should have been doing homework. Sometimes at 3 AM when I should have been sleeping...
WHY is it so addictive?!
On a mental level, it's kind of like the haze I get into when I play Spider Solitaire (another tried-and-true method of procrastination.) Something like five brain cells are working, while the rest go to sleep. There's nothing in the world but you and the pointless game, and that feels good. Particularly when there is something else that you should be doing instead, which there nearly always is.
There's also that bizarre sense of achievement you get from having "beaten" the Sporcle quiz, and I think that's something that makes Sporcle unique. They're not just diversions; they're "mentally stimulating" diversions, which means that even if the knowledge you get out of it is as pointless as Harry Potter chapter titles (or Disney song lyrics or the covers of well-known children's books or evil laughs that villains make), you still get something out of it.
Because the material sticks in your head. If you are asked, for example, to identify Chapter 12 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you can coolly wave a hand and go, "It's 'The Patronus', didn't you know?" (Not that anyone's ever asked me, but still. They could.) And that makes you feel like all your procrastination wasn't really procrastination at all -- you were learning something, weren't you?! -- and you might as well play just one more round. Why not. What harm could it do...
It is entertaining and relaxing and a little bit shameful, and I think that's the reason Sporcle has become the number one source of procrastination for nearly everyone I know.
(And although I'm at home, I'm supposed to be working on a ten-page paper to be submitted on Friday. So, logically, I'm probably heading over to Sporcle right after this.)