QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Would You Rather Surf the Web or Take a Nap?
When the digirati divide the universe into “wired” and “tired,” they may not intend to be taken literally. But anyone who looks up from his computer screen will notice that plenty of people are indeed quite tired-so much so that they might be willing to forgo the delights of cyberspace to catch some zzz’s instead. So, which activity outranks the other in the hierarchy of human pleasures? A nationwide survey conducted for Adweek found that, given a choice, 46 percent of respondents would go for the nap, while 34.5 percent would head for the Web. (The rest were undecided or unsure of what the Web is.) Among male respondents, the nap held a small edge over the Web (47 percent versus 43 percent). Among women, though, it was a landslide, with 55 percent choosing the nap and 26 percent preferring the cyberjaunt. A breakdown by age group played true to form, with the youngest respondents the likeliest to take to the Web. Even among the 18-24-year-olds, though, the nap had plenty of takers, with 42 percent of the tally versus 52 percent for the Web. The nap scored most strongly among sleep-deprived baby boomers, with 61 percent making that choice and 31 percent opting for the Web. Among 25-34-year-olds, the split was 50 percent nap, 36 percent Web. Among 45-55-year-olds, the nap outpointed the Web by 47 percent to 28 percent.
CEREBRATIONS: If He Only Had a Brain, Preferably His Old One
Maybe they’ve been watching too many old sci-fi movies, but 20something women are not about to let a little brain transplant stand in the way of romance. In a survey conducted among women currently in a relationship, Mademoiselle posed this oddball question: If we put your boyfriend’s brain in another man’s body-and, in turn, put another man’s brain in your boyfriend’s body-which guy would you retain as your significant other? A large majority (72 percent) would stick with their boyfriend’s brain in its new body, while 6 percent would take the new brain in the old body. Men will assume the findings reflect a devotion to their intellects, though the numbers may as easily reflect female indifference to the boyfriends’ physiques. Anyhow, 11 percent of the women would have nothing to do with either creature, while an easy-going 10 percent would date both.
RENEW!: Detecting Symptoms Of Poor Circulation
Magazine moguls often complain about “churn” in their readership as flighty consumers subscribe for a year and shun renewal appeals. Then the publications must scramble to dig up new subscribers. But perhaps magazines should direct their anxieties elsewhere. The charts here summarize some findings from the latest survey of circulation directors by New York-based Gruppo, Levey & Capell, which tracks trends in circulation. As you can see, the industry is having more trouble than it did a couple of years ago in winning new subscribers. But respondents report better luck at hanging onto the subscribers they’ve got. Eighty percent of respondents say they’re losing money on new-business direct mail, in part because of cost increases for paper and printing. It’s not as though newsstand sales can take up the slack, since 40 percent report a decline on that front, too.
THE TRIALS OF JOBS: Is Everybody Happy? Not Quite
The economy may be perking along nicely, but that doesn’t mean the workplace is a universally happy place. In a Hill & Knowlton survey of corporate-communications officers, 13 percent of respondents say employee morale is excellent and 48 percent say it’s good. But 29 percent rate morale as just fair, and 10 percent say it’s poor. Among other findings: 21 percent “strongly agree” (and 35 percent “somewhat agree”) that “Generation X employees are a different breed from other employees.” And while 29 percent say the Internet is already an important part of their companies’ communications programs, 89 percent say it will be “extremely important” or “very important” 10 years from now.
NOT BAD, EH?: Just Devour Enough Of Those Low-Fat Foods And You’ll Feel Sated
As Americans’ waistlines expand a notch each year, it’s not because consumers are averse to the low-fat versions of favorite fare. As part of their “Shopping for Health” report, Prevention and the Food Marketing Institute asked people whether they think the reduced-fat equivalents of specific foods taste the same as or better than the regular incarnations. Crackers scored the best, with 73 percent of respondents satisfied with the reduced-fat varieties. But even cheese won the approval of a majority of respondents (57 percent), as did ice cream (62 percent), cookies (62 percent) and cake (66 percent). In fact, people like reduced-fat foods so well that they’re gorging themselves.
BRIDAL PATHS: They’re Not Hitchhiking to Niagara Falls
They may be shopping for veils, but they’re not ready for purdah. A survey of brides-to-be, conducted by Modern Bride magazine in conjunction with the Roper Organization, finds 84 percent of respondents saying they never want to be financially dependent, with one-third intending to maintain their own bank accounts after they tie the knot. And 83 percent plan to return to work after they have kids. No fewer than 90 percent note they’re used to making their own decisions and intend to keep doing so despite their imminent change in marital status. As you’d expect, they’ve been out and about more than their mothers were before marriage. For instance, 81 percent of those surveyed have traveled by airplane for a vacation prior to marriage, while that was true of just 23 percent of their mothers. This helps explain why 71 percent of the current brides say they’d prefer an “exotic location” for their honeymoons. Indeed, 63 percent say the honeymoon will be the most expensive trip they’ve taken to date as an adult. Nearly half will use wedding-gift money to help fund the trip.
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