Check out these weird survey questions.

5 answers to questions you never asked

mmlogoThe United States is a nation of surveys. As a democracy that places supreme value on the spirit of the individual, we love to take and read polls that aggregate our feelings.

The best surveys of 2013 revealed much about America’s thoughts and habits, and the mainstream media dutifully covered them. But the weird survey questions somehow went unreported. So here they are…

1. Which nation sleeps naked the most?

Last year, The National Sleep Foundation conducted its first-ever International Bedroom Poll. And no, sadly, it didn’t ask any questions about sex. Instead, it probed a serious issue that garnered mainstream media coverage: “How much sleep do we get per weeknight?”

  • Americans: 6 hours, 31 minutes
  • Britons: 6 hours, 9 minutes
  • Germans: 7 hours, 1 minute
  • Japanese: 6 hours, 22 minutes
  • Mexicans: 7 hours, 6 minutes

Alas, those professional reporters didn’t read the last half of the 66-page Bedroom Poll. If they had, they would’ve learned…

  • Only 12 percent of Americans sleep in the nude – compared to colder countries like Canada (14 percent) and the United Kingdom (30 percent). Go figure.
  • No country loves their pets more than America, where 21 percent sleep with their animals. Canada is second with 14 percent.
  • 82 percent of Mexicans make their beds every day, compared to 66 percent of Americans. Meanwhile, 19 percent of Japanese almost never make their beds.

…so Americans aren’t as nude as their northern neighbors or as neat as their southern neighbors.

2. Do fat people know they’re fat?

Days before Thanksgiving, a gym franchise called Anytime Fitness conducted what it cleverly called The Weight of the Union survey of 1,000 adults. While many of the results were unsurprising – “Almost three out of four adults (73 percent) want to increase their current activity level” – this was fascinating…

Although almost nine out of ten adults surveyed (84 percent) believe Americans generally weigh more now than they did five years ago, 56 percent of overweight respondents and 30 percent of obese respondents felt they were at normal weights compared to the general American public.

In other words, Americans think they’re neighbors are getting fatter, but they aren’t.

3. Which part of the United States takes the most pictures of their private parts?

An app called Clean Master, which deletes compromising stuff from your Android phone, released a Smartphone Privacy Survey in December. Its most-publicized conclusion was indeed interesting…

The No. 1 file American’s don’t want others to see on their smartphone isn’t porn or dirty pictures of themselves, but bank account information – 25 percent Americans don’t want that seen by others on their smartphone.

But not as interesting as this…

Those who live in the South (7 percent) are more likely than any other geographic division to need smartphone privacy because they have naked photos of themselves on their smartphone.

Well, it’s hotter in the South. So that’s understandable. I guess.

4. How much time do I spend waiting on slow computers?

An online computer memory retailer named Crucial.com polled more than 2,000 computer users and deduced we spend an average of 16 minutes a day “waiting for slow computers to ‘catch up’ with them (e.g., waiting for programs to load, boot up/shut down).”

That doesn’t sound too bad, until you do the math: “That equates to two hours each week and four days per year lost to the whims of a slow computer.”

But this tragic finding wasn’t as well-reported: “64 percent of U.S. parents of kids under 18 spend more time with their computers than with family or close friends.” I think I’m surprised by the fact I’m surprised by this.

5. What’s more awkward than talking to your kids about sex?

Answer: Nothing. But life insurance is right up there.

September was Life Insurance Awareness Month. The fact you weren’t aware of this explains just how much work life insurance companies have ahead of them. State Farm conducted a survey for Life Insurance Awareness Month that was surely depressing to its stockholders: “22 percent of Americans feel they are not at all knowledgeable about life insurance.”

But insurance agents also have a sense of humor. Knowing that most of us hate contemplating life insurance, State Farm asked how many parents would be comfortable talking to their kids about…

  • drugs and alcohol: 55 percent
  • religion: 53 percent
  • politics: 44 percent
  • life insurance: 38 percent
  • sex and puberty: 30 percent

Conclusion: If State Farm created a new policy called “puberty insurance,” it would fail miserably because no one would want to talk about it.

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