On a scale of 1 to 5, how addicted to online surveys am I? Definitely 5 | Eleanor Margolis

During the septic tank of a year that was 2020, I’ve become hooked on ticking boxes online for tiny amounts of cash

The survey part of the nativity story is too often overlooked. Sure, there’s the the annunciation by a literal angel that a virgin woman is going to have God’s kid, and the eventual birth of said kid in the unlikeliest of places. But we mustn’t forget that the entire reason Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem was to take part in the census. And I would disagree with anyone who argues this is the least interesting part of the story.

From the census of Quirinius to those little feedback cards they used to hand out in Nando’s, there’s nothing as satisfyingly uncomplicated as ticking boxes. Relaxation comes in many shapes and forms. For me, this year, it’s consisted of rating my satisfaction with things on a scale of one to five. My favourite podcasts. My local council. My gas supplier. I mean, how satisfied am I with my gas? It seems pretty gassy. It’s definitely flammable. Could be cheaper, I guess. Four out of five? What a profoundly, meditatively dull thing to contemplate.

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