Unpresidential Teens, Needed-But-Hated, Etc.

Whatever else teens may feel toward the presidential candidates, they don’t feel envy. In an ABC News/Weekly Reader poll of kids age 12-17, 54 percent said they believe they could grow up to be president. But when asked if they’d like to do so, 79 percent said “no.” Why? For 40 percent of the naysayers, it’s because they have other plans or feel no interest in politics. Twenty percent said it’s “too much pressure”; 15 percent said it’s “too much work.” Just 14 percent would spurn the job because they “wouldn’t be good at it.”

What do foodies eat when they succumb to the need to nosh? In a reader poll by Bon Appétit, nuts were the favorite choice for a snack (cited by 31 percent), followed by popcorn (23 percent), potato chips (17 percent), pizza (14 percent) and tortilla/corn chips (13 percent). Elsewhere in the survey, ice cream topped the list of respondents’ “guilty pleasures,” with chocolate close behind.

One man’s meat can be the same man’s poison. In this year’s edition of the annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Index survey, 95 percent of Americans said inventions have improved the quality of life in the U.S. As you can see from the chart here, though, lots of people hate some of the most ubiquitous inventions, even while feeling they couldn’t do without them. On the subject of e-mail, teens were more likely than adults to think it makes life simpler (81 percent vs. 59 percent). A question on debit and credit cards yielded the opposite result: One-third of the teens said they make life simpler, while one-half of adults said the same.

I guess they won’t be taking out loans to buy exercise gear. In a new Cambridge Consumer Credit Index poll by International Communications Research, consumers were asked to identify “the most important thing for you to do in 2004.” The top choice was “pay off or pay down your debt” (28 percent), putting it a shade ahead of “lose weight or exercise more” (27 percent). The wish to “get a more secure/better job” came next in the standings (15 percent), ahead of “improve your personal relationships” (13 percent).

If 35 percent of your colleagues aren’t discussing Super Bowl spots around the water cooler this week, they may be dragging down the national average. In its annual pre-Bowl poll, Eisner Communications found 35 percent of adults saying they expected to discuss the commercials the day after the game, vs. 21 percent expecting to forget about them soon after watching. An advertising-friendly 18 percent said they expected to think about the spots throughout the week following the big game. More power to them!