Do You Live in A Bubble?

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I read an interesting article on Bardiac that encouraged readers to take a quiz to see if their finances (and thus lifestyle) kept them in a bubble…away from mainstream American culture.  The lower higher your score was, the more in touch with the “real world” you were.

There’s tons of controversy surrounding the quiz.  People get angry when they see their scores.  Bardiac assumed it was because no one wants to be told they live in a bubble.  You don’t want to be told that you can’t empathize and that the way you vote is sometimes detrimental to the actual needs of your fellow Americans.  I’d argue that living in a bubble is great.  Yeah, there’s some things you’d like to maintain.  Like keeping in touch with reality.  And compassion for your fellow man on something more than a superficial level.  But aren’t there good things to be said about being sheltered?  One of the questions asked you if you ever had a job that caused you physical pain.  (It had to be something more than a summer or high school job.)  That’s something I’d like to avoid….for myself and my children.  The other is academic achievement.  What is so wrong with doing well?  Nothing.  And what’s so wrong about being brought up with parents who do well?  Nothing.  As long as they teach you compassion, and that the size of a paycheck a man brings home does not define his character.

My Problems with the Quiz

  1. It self-admittedly only examines white America.  I still don’t understand why.  I guess in my own head we are all Americans, regardless of race.  But for demographic’s sake, or the racism of the quiz’s author itself, it’s only one sector that is examined.
  2. It assumes for upward mobility among the classes from generation to generation.  Given that the economy recently fell out from under everyone, including young professionals who would have just been starting their careers, I don’t understand why this assumption is made.
My score was 58.  Whatever that does or doesn’t mean.  What’s yours?

24 thoughts on “Do You Live in A Bubble?

  1. Michelle P

    I got 66 points. Very interesting. It says:

    “The higher your score, the thinner your bubble. The lower, the more insulated you might be from mainstream American culture. 48–99: A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie going habits. Typical: 77. “

  2. shopping2saving

    I got 29 points. I have no idea why that makes me more insulated from mainstream american culture. Totally biased, and not enough questions to even categorize people correctly. You’re right it does not count for race or gender or even age. There are so many flaws with this quiz that I won’t get into, but it’s pretty funny for people to get worked up about it when they should know that a 25 question quiz containing questions about whether you have a Christian friend or if you surround yourself with people who smoke would even be precise. Lame-o!

  3. femmefrugality

    I have no idea, Elle. I don’t even know if the guy who wrote it was in touch with mainstream, white, poor, American culture himself. Even after reading the article, I don’t really understand the purpose the quiz serves. But I’m glad you had fun, `shopping2saving. I did, too.

  4. nicoleandmaggie

    The guy who made the survey is also the guy who wrote, “The Bell Curve” which is a famous book in which the authors “prove” using really badly done statistics that black people are inferior to white people. And that’s why their outcomes aren’t as good. Not because of institutional discrimination, unequal opportunities, a legacy of slavery, etc.

  5. Christa

    I think the scoring system is kind of lame. I got a 64, so I fell into one of three categories. Of course that means I’ll identify with one of them! Silly….but still fun to take the quiz!

  6. Devon Riesenberg

    ooh, very provocative notion and quiz here! I’ll take this and cross my fingers that I like what score I see!

    you are SO sweet for visiting my blog today and supporting my little feature 🙂

  7. Modest Money

    This quiz sounded interesting at first, but as soon as I heard it was specifically targeted at white americans, I knew I wouldn’t bother actually taking the quiz. Some of the questions might be fun to answer, but as a whole it sounds rather pointless.

  8. Daisy @ Add Vodka

    I’m Canadian, and therefore, I didn’t take the quiz. I’m sure lots of the questions, if you take away the word “american” and put in “Canadian”, mean the same thing but I think we definitely function a little different here across the border. It’s interesting though.

  9. Katie

    I took the quiz and got a 54. Not sure what the results mean since I ended up in three possible categories. I thought some of the questions were kind of offensive.

  10. Cassie

    I’m also Canadian, I just subbed in “Canadian” everywhere it said “American” and hoped for the best. I came out with 51, which is reasonably accurate. I came from a blue collar family, and I’m the first one to earn a university degree. It was interesting, though I’m sure with slightly different questions I could have come up with wildly different results.

  11. Lindy Mint

    Regardless of the accuracy of the quiz, I can understand how people don’t like to be told they live in a bubble.

    Growing up in a religious private school, I was always told I was sheltered, though swore up and down I wasn’t. But I totally was.

  12. MyMoneyDesign

    Interesting! I’ll have to try out that quiz. I already know that I am in a financial bubble. If I were to survey 100 people I know, I’d be alone in my practices.

  13. Kim @ Money and Risk

    I took the quiz that was by the same guy but only 25 points counted. For what it’s worth, I ranked close to being white, male, middle class, NRA type.

    Considering that my name is Kim Luu. What’s wrong with me?

  14. Emily @ evolvingPF

    I got a 22, and I am second-gen upper middle class, as it categorized me. It wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t know and I don’t really have a problem being told I “live in a bubble.” I think two of the few questions I answered that raised my score is that I’m an evangelical Christian and I watch some popular TV. I said I don’t live in a neighborhood where most people don’t have college degrees, but I’m not really sure about the definition of neighborhood so I answered for my apartment complex, which is largely grad students and other young professionals. The whole thing seemed pretty silly though. It would be interesting to know their methodology.

    1. Emily @ evolvingPF

      Oh, and I got varsity letters in high school, so that raised my school. But the letters were in tennis and crew, both “elite” sports, so that should have dropped my score like a rock. Ridiculous!


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