You’ve all seen them. “Share is you see the word in this picture.” “How many faces can you see in the tree?” and so on. The one I saw today was “Share when you see the horse.”
Usually I can spot it; sometimes right away, sometimes not so fast. I never share. If I see them once, I know I’m going to see them at least half a dozen times, and probably in the next 5 minutes, so there are plenty of people sharing and I don’t need to get in that line. But I always look at them.
If I can see the thing, it makes me feel smart. If I can’t, I think “Eh, it’s not as if it’s an IQ test or anything. It’s more of a vision test.”
Anyway, today, after looking at what was obviously a picture of a frog until you were told you should be looking for a horse, it struck me: they’re not an IQ test, but it is more than an eye test. Except for the ones that are color-blindness tests, of course, which is a whole different category.
They are tests of mental flexibility, which is just as important in problem solving as IQ, I’ll bet. Somebody might have an IQ of 180, if they get fixated on proving one theory (It’s a frog, goddamit!) to the point where they can’t adjust even when shown new information, they’re not going to get anything done and everybody will hate them.
So, it’s an important skill. I’ve found that the easiest way is to look away from the picture for a moment, and then look back with different expectations. If it doesn’t work right off the bat, fuck it. It’s only a stupid facebook test.
It’s sort of like reading Finnegan’s Wake, or doing Rubik’s Cube. The way to win is not to play.