This is so exciting! Today I clicked a link. It told me that only 3% of people are able to solve a puzzle.

Guess what...I SOLVED IT!

Cue the parade and the streamers. I am a mental dynamo!

It seems to me that if something were so difficult that only 3% are able to solve it, that success in this quiz must surely grant me some sort of award! Truly, there is no reason, that I, with the mental powers of Stephen Hawking on crack, should not be scribing the next great American novel. Or maybe I should use my new found power to solve the world's hunger problems. I am, after all, in the intellectual elite.

Mensa, you have got nothing on me, because guess what? I solved the facebook test. Yes, I, Thomas Wall, husband, father, superhuman brain user, have surpassed 97% of humanity. You need see no CV. A resume is merely something that stupid people use. Yes, my name is now synonymous with smart because I have taken the buzzfeed quiz, and I not only passed, but I did so in a matter of minutes.

I, as promised, am one of the most brilliant people alive.

I was not distracted by the other links on the page. No, those are there to keep the un-elite from finishing the exam. I may not believe what Miley just did, and I am sure that those bikini photos are splendid, but I was able to use my laser-like focus and complete your grueling mental exam.

There was a moment that I was tempted to click on a link that told me that the attached movie is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I mean, how often does one get the chance to see the single most beautiful image in the world. For centuries, this has been the focus of paintings and music. All art forms from poetry to dancing have been trying to achieve this. THE SINGLE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD. But no. I was on target. You understand, as of one of the few people who are in this elite 3% I am capable of attention that is second only to a 3rd grader on Ritalin playing minecraft.

Where is the government? Surely they must be on their way. When someone like me exposes their mental prowess to the world, the feds must take notice. They are on their way. Do you think they will let my wife and son move into the bunker with me? I will understand if they can't. I will miss them of course, but the future of the human race is hanging in the balance. I mean, I assume they will be moving us into a bunker somewhere. Minds such as mine cannot be exposed to commonalities. Oooh I bet I get to fly in a helicopter. They're coming any minute now.

They must monitor buzzfeed pretty closely. Of all the millions of people who click that link daily, they would have to have a team of people constantly observing the testing to make sure that they didn't miss an intellect of my magnitude.

All in all this is pretty exciting.

I should notify people. I am going to log back into facebook. Who was it that posted that link? I need to comment that I, alone, was able to conquer the exam. That I, a modern day Archimedes, am now ready to move the world.

Well this is astounding! It would appear that a number of my friends are of giant intellect as well! I knew I was good at picking friends. If they all possess the same sensational intellect that I do, it is no wonder we are all so close.

Even cousin Jimmy passed. I have to admit, I am a little surprised by that. I mean, he hasn't been right since that mule kicked him in the head. But maybe it realigned things in there so that now he is crazy smart! Maybe he's a rainman in overalls. I bet that will be my first assignment. It will be my job to map Jimmy's brain. It makes sense since he tends to get really violent if anyone outside the family gets close to him.

Anyway, it will be good to have most of my friends, and some of my family, in that government bunker with me (where is that helicopter anyway?)

What should I do while I'm waiting? They'll have uniforms for me so packing is not an issue. I mean, I can't be bothered with picking out clothes in the morning. It would just be a distraction from the day's mental challenges. Maybe I'll just play around on facebook some more.

Do you think I need to eat still? I thought I read somewhere that being really smart meant you didn't have to eat.

Oh...another quiz.

Smiley face

It is so easy to fall prey to the lies of the internet.

Of course, the above is a gross exaggeration to what I feel when I take those quizzes. But the fact remains that I take them. And for a brief moment, when I solve them, I do feel a little smarter than you.

But truth be known, those quiz statistics, like most other "facts" on the internet today are completely unfounded in reality. There is no system of checks and balances in place for the internet, and even if there were, it would be so overwhelmed that it would still be double checking Prodigy (ask your parents what that is).

I truly cannot remember the number of times I have seen an argument erupt on social media as the result of a fabricated story. People get so up in arms about their positions, be they political, financial, or god forbid, religious, that they become completely blind to the fact that they are being had.

Allow me to boil this down to a few simple rules that will make the internet a much easier place to navigate.

  • If it is written over a photo, and it makes you angry, it's probably not totally true or is omitting something.
  • If it promises you anything, anything at all, it is probably lying.
  • If there is a link to an article, a large percentage of people who are commenting have not read the article. And odds are, the person who posted the article didn't read it either.
  • If it has managed to sum up any government action into a single sentence, it has omitted a great deal of information.

The long and short of it, is that we live in a society that wants to be scared. At some point, somewhere in the mid twentieth century, a newsman produced the first piece of sensationalist news and it has all be downhill from there.

Now you can't turn on the evening news without hearing about killer escalators, and social media is rife with mis-information and half truths.

Everyone is trying to get your money. And no one spends money like the man who is terrified. Think about how many stores were emptied of supplies this last winter because the weather man told us that "snow-mageddon" was on its way. Think about how often someone is tried in the court of public opinion, because the news has made us scared of them. Time and again, someone falsely accused of a crime has their life ruined before the courts even have a chance to exonerate them because the news outlets can't wait to scare the living daylights out of us.

We live in a complicated time. Information comes to us faster than ever before. It also comes to us with fewer filters than ever before. Now, more than ever, we have to be very careful with what we choose to believe. We cannot just trust a source because we have believed it in the past. We cannot trust a source because our friends believe it. And above all, we cannot trust a source just because it bolsters our arguments.

Question everything, friends. Before you share an inflammatory statistic, do five minutes of research to see if it's true. Read the article, not just the headline. And believe your gut. It is our job as gentlemen to see the world through analytical eyes. We must think for ourselves.

It is only after we have stopped, thought, analyzed, and researched, that we can form an opinion. But without these steps, you are not forming an opinion, you are only serving as a mouth piece for someone else's thoughts. And nothing is less appealing than a man without a mind of his own.

So take that extra step. Question everything. And think for yourself.

Trust me, I am smarter than 97% of you.

Until next time, be a gentleman.