Might As Well Face It, I’m Addicted to Questions

I’m a survey junkie. There, I’ve said it. I like to fill out questionnaires. Does this make me weird, narcissistic or intellectually curious? Maybe a bit of each. I’m interested in new initiatives and social trends, and sometimes filling out surveys provides that fix. Other times, I experience the satisfaction of sharing my opinion (“NO, I do NOT think that gaucho pants should be making a fashion comeback”).

Here’s the best part: A great many of these questionnaires are opportunities for easy-peasy good deeds… in other words, right up my (lazy) alley! Filling out a hospital form about a recent visit, telling a charity which social platforms I’m most likely to follow them on, giving feedback about the functionality of an NGO’s website… I’ve done it all without putting on my shoes.

Sometimes the difference you can make just by marking a few boxes is more magnificent than you expected. Five months ago, I filled out a few simple questions for the Ontario Health Study, a new population-based research project that could improve the prevention and treatment of major diseases internationally. Yes, that means all over planet Earth. The first message to come on my screen after I hit the “submit” button was: “Thank you for being part of something big!” Didn’t I feel like a hotshot.

I’m also an online panelist for the market research firm Angus Reid. Sure, they’re getting cheap labour from me, not to mention a sizeable markup for their clients who are paying to know what makes people tick. But when the dollar or so that I earn on every survey reaches fifty bucks, it can all be transferred to charity with the click of a mouse. Click, good deed done, pour more coffee.

Isn’t it fine when something you like doing also helps others? Do you have a hobby that makes a difference?

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