Bex: A Web Fox
Sociable – Foxes are highly social animals, maintaining complex relationships with the other members of their social group. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information.
Adaptable – Web Foxes are highly adaptable multitaskers, able to do several things at the same time – just like real-world foxes who can rapidly change their behaviour to suit their environments.
How we worked out your web animal
Our web animals are just for fun, but the test is based on solid and rigorous science, so your results should tell you something interesting about your web behaviour.
Three aspects of your web behaviour were used to work out your web animal.
Adaptable or specialised?
We aren’t always as good at multitasking as we think we are
The internet allows us to do lots of things at the same time. You might be listening to music and updating your blog while receiving news alerts and chatting online with friends. Then an email arrives. Can you switch seamlessly between different tasks? Or are you actually less efficient?
Indeed, a study from Stanford University in California suggests that people who spend their time multitasking might actually be less good at juggling tasks than non-multitaskers.
If you are an ‘adaptable’ web animal, then you scored highly on our tests that measured your ability to multitask. If your web animal is ‘specialised’, then you are probably better suited to taking on one task at a time.
Fast-moving or slow-moving?
Slow and steady sometimes wins the race
The internet helps people find information fast. Practice makes perfect, and its possible to learn techniques for getting to the information you need quickly. But speed isn’t the same as accuracy. The first answer you find isn’t necessarily the right answer.
We measured the time it took you to complete a series of search tasks. If you are a fast-moving web animal, you took less time than average. This maybe because you know exactly what you’re doing, but could also mean you missed important information. If you are a slow-moving web animal, this could be because you’re less confident, that you focused on getting the right answer rather than the first one.
Social or solitary?
An online social life could influence the way you trust people
The internet has radically multiplied the ways in which we can meet new friends and stay in contact with existing ones. (Internet guru Clay Shirky once said that before the internet came along, the most recent technology that affected the way people sat down and talked to each other was the table.) So how social are you online?
If your web animal is social, you probably told us you spend quite a lot of time on social networking sites and that you tend to trust sites whose content is created by its users. If your web animal is solitary, you probably don’t socialise as much online and are inclined to trust sites whose content is produced in a more traditional, ‘authoritative’ way.
Social behaviour online is a fascinating area of study for our scientists. They would like to understand the relationship between time spent online and the type of information sources users choose to trust.