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Trends with Tension 2016: North America

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Every year, planners at Y&R share a roundup of today’s most interesting trends and their inherent tension. This year’s North American Trends with Tension report takes on an array of topics from big data to PC culture to food fetishization.

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Trends with Tension 2016: North America

  1. 1. TRENDS WITH TENSION TRENDS WITH TENSION NORTH AMERICA 2016
  2. 2. 1. LIVING ALGORITHMS / ENGINEERING RANDOM 2. FOOD FOR FOLLOWERS / FOOD AS FUEL 3. VISUALS TO ENHANCE / VISUALS TO REPLACE 4. OVERLY PC / OVER PC 5. DATA DEFINES / DATA DISTRACTS 6. WINNING THE DATING GAME / STRIKING OUT MONOGAMY 7. LOSING OUR RELIGION / BOUND BY RELIGION 8. CHAINED TO “LIKES” / REJECTION OF “LIKES” 9. AGELESS / AGEIST 10. POLLS DOMINATE / POLLS DESTROY SAID OBSERVED SEARCH IT CRUNCHED TRENDS WITH TENSIONY&R PLANNING Every year, the planners at Y&R share insights about how the world around us is changing. However, reality is never black and white. At a macro level, every behavior, observation and perspective has an inherent tension. Every trend has a countertrend. Alex Burke | Elizabeth Chabot | Divya Darsi | Rachel Freudenstein Alison Geraghty | Clare Hines | Gustavo Quintero
  3. 3. WE ARE INCREASINGLY AWARE AND DESPERATE TO BREAK OUT OF THE ALGORITHMS THAT INFORM MOST OF OUR DECISIONS. In reaction to an increasingly algorithmic world, there’s a desire for a dose of the randomness that we seem to have lost. Random (the app) serves people things they’d never have known to search for on Google. UberPool has found itself the benefactor of unexpected meet-cutes, which is reason enough for some singles to use the car service. Ironically, if we want randomness, we have to plan for it. THE HYPER PERSONALIZED RECOMMENDATION ENGINES THAT DICTATE OUR CONSUMPTION HABITS ARE BLEEDING INTO OUR PERSONAL LIVES. We can receive a recommendation for a group of friends who match our current friends for a night out, or for a person to date based on how many Internet friends we have in common. The hyper-personalized recommendations we’ve come to expect from Netflix and Amazon are now shaping our IRL interactions. LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – DELIVERED FROM NATUREBOX BASED ON WHAT WE PREVIOUSLY ATE, WHAT OUR FACEBOOK PALS GAVE FIVE STARS TO AND WHAT HAS BEEN CHOSEN BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE SIMILAR COOKIES (NOT THE EDIBLE KIND). AS WHAT WE SEE BECOMES INCREASINGLY TAILORED BASED ON OUR PAST BEHAVIOR, PREFERENCES AND SOCIAL GRAPH, WE SEE MORE AND MORE OF WHAT WE ALREADY LIKE AND LESS OF WHAT WE HAVE YET TO DISCOVER. LIVING ALGORITHMS ENGINEERING RANDOM
  4. 4. The Whole Glory Project allowed people to be tattooed by Scott Campbell for free – the catch: you have no say in what he tattoos. CRUISING THE CARPOOL “It’s about gambling and meeting random people and seeing what we can offer each other.” – Mack Weldon, who uses UberPool’s ride-sharing service to network 73% of millennials hoped to take a spontaneous trip in 2015. – Study by Priceline on Mashable, 2015 SQUAD APP Facebook purposefully altered the mood of 700,000 people using positive/negative posts. – TIME, 2014 “The best way to get to know somebody is by looking at what kind of shows Netflix recommends for them.” – @Abunny31 The Murdoch App, developed at TechCrunch’s London Hackathon, listens to your instant messenger conversations and offers recommendations for things you haven’t asked for. ENGINEERING RANDOM LIVING ALGORITHMS
  5. 5. COUNTERING THE TREND OF FOOD FOR FUN AND EXPERIENCE, SOME HAVE BEGUN TO TREAT FOOD AS FUEL, AND THE BODY AS A MACHINE. We’ve always looked to food to improve health, but now the practice has become a science, with many nutritionists recommending a healthy diet over traditional medicine. Some are taking this to the next level by omitting food altogether. We’ve graduated from juice cleanses to an even more austere approach to nutrition. With the development of products like Soylent, some of us are wondering, who needs food when you have pure fuel? WITH THE HELP OF INSTAGRAM AND FOOD-BLOGGING CELEBRITIES, FOOD HAS BECOME A SIGNIFIER OF SOCIAL STATUS. We now share our food habits as a sign of education, income and cultural savvy. The more hidden the restaurant, the rarer the ingredients, or the longer the line to get in, the more likes and followers we gain. This phenomenon fills our social feeds, with thousands of accounts dedicated to creating food envy. Food has become a new social currency. WE’VE ALWAYS LOVED TO EAT, BUT TODAY’S CULTURE HAS REACHED NEW HEIGHTS OF FOOD FETISHIZATION. A BUILDING TENSION EXISTS BETWEEN MEALS SHARED FOR SOCIAL STATUS, AND MEALS CONSUMED FOR PURE UTILITY. FOOD AS FUEL FOOD FOR FOLLOWERS
  6. 6. FOOD AS FUEL FOOD FOR FOLLOWERS JOYLENT There are 1,171 books on Amazon with “food” and “medicine” in the title. – Amazon, 2016 “You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself. You need carbohydrates, not bread.” – Rob Rhinehart, Soylent CEO Many dermatologists recommend diet changes over skin care products. Renowned dermatologist Nicholas Perricone believes inflammation in the body is behind every skin issue – and the only way to change that is your diet. – Refinery 29, 2016 #GIRLSWITHGLUTEN There are over 77MM photos on Instagram hashtagged #foodporn. – Instagram, 2016 “You are demonstrating that you have the luxury to be very, very deliberate about something that a lot of people really struggle to have.” – Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 2015 Muk-bang is a South Korean phenomenon also known as gastronomic voyeurism, in which someone sits alone at home and eats copious amounts of food while live-streaming it to their followers.
  7. 7. OUR USE OF VISUALS RATHER THAN FORMAL LANGUAGE IS RENDERING US SPEECHLESS. Little effort is required to send a quick string of emojis. It’s so easy that when forced to return to the ancient art of words on paper or verbal communication, we’re left scrambling, struggling to find the words to express ourselves. Beyond effort, visuals are a far less precise way of communicating. Visuals out of context are easily misconstrued. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but those thousand words are different to every person viewing the image. VISUALS TO REPLACE VISUAL TOOLS OPEN THE LINES FOR NATURAL, EXPRESSIVE AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATION. Emojis and GIFs are ubiquitous and have allowed us to convey tone and mood more easily. Images can be used consecutively to tell a story, or a single visual can express a universal emotion. Whether it’s a clapping emoji to signify congratulations or a fist-pumping baby (you know the one) to express satisfaction, visuals express our true feelings more accurately than words. VISUALS TO ENHANCE EMOJIS, GIFS, MEMES...OUR PALETTE FOR VISUAL COMMUNICATION IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE. BUT IS THIS IMPROVING OUR COMMUNICATION OR HINDERING IT?
  8. 8. VISUALS TO REPLACE VISUALS TO ENHANCE EMOJINAL INTELLIGENCE Three-quarters of younger millennials said that they find it easier to express emotions via emojis rather than words. – Bangor University, 2015 “We don’t have time for words because they’re not fast enough, nor are they descriptive enough about the things we want to convey.” – Adam Leibsohn, COO of GIPHY Studies show that emojis trigger the same part of the brain (the occipitotemporal cortex) as face-to-face interaction. – “Emoticons In Mind,” Social Neuroscience Journal, 2014 EMOJIFICATION 46% of consumers believe that an image alone is not enough – you need words to truly express yourself. – Iconoculture, Trends Report 2016 “It has been occurring to me more and more while trying to articulate myself that I’m having a difficult time saying what I want to say, and I think it might be the fault of my use of emojis and umbrella words...So many misrepresented and falsely articulated emotions.” – Leandra Medine/The Man Repeller The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2015 was not a word at all – it was “Tears of Joy,” the most used emoji.
  9. 9.   DIEHARD PROPONENTS OF FREE SPEECH BELIEVE YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY ANYTHING. FORGET POLITICAL CORRECTNESS – THIS IS RADICAL SELF-EXPRESSION. Any time there is a call for PC sensitivity, there is a response of radical self-expression. This extremist rhetoric dominates pockets of the media and is met by waves of nodding heads, as if to say, “Finally, someone who tells it like it is.” As America becomes more diverse, and we are forced to confront different viewpoints, the frustrated public demands its right to free speech, flirting with bigotry in the process. WHEN LIVING IN A HYPER-PC CULTURE, THE GOLDEN RULE IS: IF YOU CAN’T SAY THE RIGHT THING, DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL. We are entitled to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Today we use this freedom to denounce anything or anyone associated with racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of intolerance. There is no such thing as a harmless joke or “boys will be boys.” It’s no longer up for discussion; we’re drawing a thick line in the sand, admonishing intolerance of any kind. If you offend the rules of political correctness, prepare for retaliation. INSTANT COMMUNICATION EXPOSES US TO NEW IDEAS AND PERSPECTIVES, BUT WHEN EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION AND A PLATFORM ON WHICH TO SHARE IT, EVERYONE ALSO HAS A RIGHT TO BE OFFENDED. A FUNDAMENTAL DEBATE AS TO WHAT SHOULD QUALIFY AS “FREE SPEECH” IS UNDERWAY, AND TWO EXTREMES ARE EMERGING. OVER PCOVERLY PC
  10. 10. OVER PCOVERLY PC STARBUCKS CHRISTMAS CUPS 67% of Americans think people should be able to say offensive things about minority groups publicly. – Pew, 2015 “Identity politics allow people to claim the moral high ground from a precious position of victimhood, whether they’re the offending party or the offended one. We need a return to a culture that prioritizes the politics of ideas over the politics of identity and biology.” – Daily Beast, 2015 Donald Trump’s call for an all out ban on Muslims sent even the “fair” media outlets in a tizzy, calling him a bigot at best, and at worst, “The New Fuhrer.” But other media professionals and politicians were not so quick to denounce his statement – maybe because they knew how many Americans were nodding their heads at his ability to say out loud what others are silently thinking. YOU PC, BRO?! 40% of millennials are okay with limiting free speech which is offensive to minorities. – Pew, 2015 “To ask marginalized students to throw away their enjoyment of a holiday, in order to expend emotional, mental, and physical energy to explain why something is offensive, is – offensive.” – A letter from “concerned Yale students” to Associate Master Erika Christakis Led by the Black Justice League, 200 Princeton students walked to call for the removal of the Woodrow Wilson Building in protest of the president’s racism. This is part of a larger trend of students speaking out against historical figures’ pasts of intolerance.
  11. 11. WHEN DATA DETERMINES HOW EVERYTHING IS DONE, ONE MISSTEP CAN RESULT IN HORRIBLE OUTCOMES. Corporations today are increasingly dependent on algorithms to aid in a variety of tasks. However, if businesses don’t always consider the effects of the results, unintended consequences can arise such as damaging the brand, offending their customers or terrifying data breaches. BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS HAVE COME TO DEPEND ON DATA TO MAKE BETTER INFORMED DECISIONS AND ENHANCE HOW WE LIVE. Forget gazing into the crystal ball to tell us what people care about, that’s what data is enabling for businesses today. The sheer size of the Internet, the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices and data analytics tools create a perfect storm where data-driven decision making is the only way to do business. From personalized medicine based on our genomes to preferred content always available to us, data will transform how business is done and the way we live. WE CREATE 2.5 QUINTILLION BYTES OF DATA EVERY SINGLE DAY. OUR PREFERENCES, BEHAVIORS AND PROCESSES CREATE POWERFUL DATA THAT WILL SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR INNOVATION AND GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION – UNLESS WE LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL. DATA DISTRACTSDATA DEFINES
  12. 12. DATA DISTRACTSDATA DEFINES BIG DATA TERRORISM Three out of four data and development professionals suspect business stakeholders misuse data when making business decisions. Eighty-one percent believe the data is misinterpreted. – ProPublica, 2015 “Enterprises have spent far too little time thinking about what data they should be collecting and how they should be collecting it. Instead of spearfishing, they’ve taken to trolling the data ocean, collecting untold amounts of junk without any forethought or structure.” – TechCrunch, 2015 Flickr’s auto-tagging algorithm with advanced image-recognition technology mistakenly auto-tagged online photos of black men as “animal” or “ape.” A white woman covered with multicolored paint was also similarly tagged, and images of concentration camps were tagged with the labels “jungle gyms” and “sport.” – The Guardian, 2015 PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS In the past year, the number of organizations that have deployed or implemented data-driven projects has increased by 125%. – IDGE 2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey “Big data will become an historic driver of progress, helping our nation perpetuate the civic and economic dynamism that has long been its hallmark.” – White House Big Data Piracy Report, 2014 This year, we saw the “smart everything” phenomenon, which included an increased number of “smart buildings,” like the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. It saved $800,000 in energy costs in a single year due to big data. An algorithm was created to analyze building, weather, geographic and public search data. The information identified energy spikes caused by fans operating at higher levels than necessary, resulting in the adjustment and reduced costs. – Business Insider, 2015
  13. 13. DATING APPS HAVE SHIFTED OUR PERCEPTIONS OF CHOICE SO MUCH SO THAT WE’RE SEEING A DECLINE IN MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIPS. Dating apps have created a world of never-ending options, where we can order a date the way we order delivery. Tonight you want Italian, but tomorrow you might want Thai. This has created an environment where we never feel the need to settle for “the one,” – or any one at all. AN EXPLOSION OF DATING APPS HAS ALLOWED US TO LOOK FOR LOVE IN AN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF WAYS. THE WHOLE WORLD OF DATING IS AT OUR FINGERTIPS, BUT WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THIS NEWFOUND ACCESS? NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, THERE’S SOMEONE OUT THERE FOR YOU AND THE VAST ARRAY OF DATING APPS WILL HELP YOU FIND THAT PERSON. Whether you’re straight, gay, single, into God or into threesomes, there’s an app to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Those who would have spent their lives searching, or just pondering their preferences, now have the tools at their fingertips to find relationship bliss. It’s a dating revolution, and we’re never going back. STRIKING OUT MONOGAMY WINNING THE DATING GAME
  14. 14. STRIKING OUT MONOGAMY WINNING THE DATING GAME TOOLS FOR TINDER 42% of Tinder users are either in a relationship or married. – Global Web Index, 2015 “When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating.” – David Buss, professor of psychology at University of Texas at Austin Vanity Fair 2015 In his article “Beating the Tinder Game,” Blake Jamieson describes how he successfully hacked Tinder in his favor. He used the official “Match of the Day” logo on his profile, swiped right on everyone, and tweaked his profile photos and information based on feedback he got along the way. The result? Over 2,000 matches. – Blake Jamieson, Medium.com, 2014 HIGH THERE By 2040, it is estimated that 70% of couples will have met online. – VICE, 2015 “As an introvert, it was great. I would have never spoken to you at a bar. And there is no way we would have met because our social circles are so different. There’s a great randomness to it,” says Jess, who met her girlfriend on Tinder. – BuzzFeed, 2015 An influx of niche dating apps allow us to be more specific about what we want out of a partner (or partners) and a relationship, helping us find who we’re looking for faster. Whether our criteria be spirituality (J-Swipe, Collide), sexuality (3nder, HER), or lifestyle (Farmers Only, Date Surfers), there’s an app for that.
  15. 15. GLOBALIZATION ENSURES THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF A FEW IMPACT THE DAILY LIVES OF ALL. A constantly connected world continues to inject religion into our everyday lives. From local debates on birth control and gay marriage to topics abroad on terrorism and Islamophobia, religious issues make up a disproportionate amount of media coverage. A worsening refugee crisis, continued global economic turmoil and a shift in power in the world’s most powerful nation have driven policy makers to flirt with religiously discriminatory proposals. While these might never come to fruition, the current rhetoric will bring societal repercussions in the form of increased nationalism and divisiveness. THE ROLE OF ORGANIZED RELIGION IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES CONTINUES TO DIMINISH AS YOUNGER GENERATIONS COME OF AGE AND BEGIN TO DICTATE NEW NORMS. A growing sense of individualism among the younger generation of developed countries continues to shift us away from active religious practice. An increasingly accepting society no longer forces us to abide by traditional norms and allows us to express beliefs in our own way, or increasingly, not at all. While millennials have been labeled the least religious generation ever, emerging gen Z is set to prove itself even more secular as they disregard traditional rules and rituals in favor of religion-free moral values. WITH NEW GENERATIONS COMING OF AGE IN A TIME MARKED BY BOTH INDIVIDUALISM AND GLOBALIZATION, OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH RELIGION IS SHIFTING. LOSING OUR RELIGION BOUND BY RELIGION
  16. 16. BOUND BY RELIGION LOSING OUR RELIGION THE HOLY QURAN EXPERIMENT 58% of adults who are 18–49 years old report seeing someone share their religion online in the past week. – Pew, 2014 “ISIS is recruiting through the Internet. ISIS is using the Internet better than we are using the Internet, and it was our idea.” – Donald Trump For the first time in hundreds of years, a caliphate has been formed. Social media has allowed the caliphate to recruit far beyond its borders and expand its reach into western developed nations, defacing the reputation of an entire religion and fueling nationalist fires. New tools have sent us back to less accepting times. SBNR Twelfth graders and emerging college students in the 2010s are twice as likely to never attend religious services and classify their religious affiliation as “none” vs. students their same age in the 1970s. – PLOS, 2015 “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual.” – Sam, 26 Much like gen z and “spiritual” millennials, Pope Francis rejects the premise that religious matters should place heavy emphasis on societal topics such as gay marriage and abortion, and says they should instead focus on fundamental values of service and altruism. These views have earned him the respect and admiration of both religious and non-religious people who practice religion or spirituality in their own way, and even got him on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
  17. 17. WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF CHASING LIKES. DIGITAL VALIDATION HAS AFFECTED OUR ABILITY TO CARE ABOUT THINGS IN REAL LIFE. IN TURN, WE’RE DENOUNCING SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media makes it easy to share experiences; however, the value we assign to earning more instant validation negatively affects our lives. The dependence on such validation increases stress levels, affects mental health and drives feelings of loss. Therefore, people are speaking out against social media. WE’RE OBSESSED WITH GETTING MORE LIKES. TODAY, THE ONLY STUFF THAT MATTERS ARE THE THINGS THAT ACCUMULATE LIKES. Double taps, RTs, likes – these are the new social currencies of our time. We are defined by the amount of digital validation we receive on social media. The pursuit of this new currency affects our behavior and influences our decisions and relationships. OUR ABILITY TO SHARE EXPERIENCES AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK INSTANTLY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA HAS CHANGED HOW WE CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER. THIS TYPE OF DIGITAL VALIDATION IS NOT ONLY DRIVING ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR, BUT ALSO FORCING US TO EVALUATE WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IN OUR LIVES. REJECTION OF “LIKES” CHAINED TO “LIKES”
  18. 18. REJECTION OF “LIKES” CHAINED TO “LIKES” #THIGHREADING A 2015 study looked at the behaviors of 1,623 people, and 58% of them admitted that “posting that perfect picture has prevented them from enjoying life experiences.” – Geekwire, 2015 Instagram star Essena O’Neill publicly speaks out against social media. “I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. Its contrived perfection made to get attention.” – The Guardian, 2015 Socality Barbie on Instagram: Satirical Instagram account poking fun of perfectly posed and carefully curated adventure photography on social media. – Instagram, 2015 PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN Instagram hosts more than 46 million #blessed posts, the social media humblebrag hashtag, which boasts about workouts, spending time with friends, trips, etc. – Instagram, 2015 “I do delete pictures that don’t get enough likes (140 likes for a selfie, on average) because I think I probably didn’t look good enough for my followers.” – Lindsay Correia, 22, The Guardian Best Nine, a website that searches your Instagram account and creates a collage of your top nine most-liked photos, exploded in the final days of 2015. In addition, Best Nine informs users of the cumulative number of likes their top nine photos received.
  19. 19. WE’VE COME TO EMBRACE THE FLUIDITY OF AGE, AS IT NO LONGER LIMITS HOW WE’RE PERCEIVED OR WHAT WE CAN DO. Advances in medicine and technology have forced us to reconsider how we look at age. At 54, we can look like we’re 34, or have a child or walk the runway. Savvy advertisers use digital tools to target audiences in a far more sophisticated manner than age alone. The phrase “age is just a number” has never been more true. TODAY’S SOCIETY IS MORE AGEIST THAN EVER. MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN TECHNOLOGY HAVE ONLY STRENGTHENED OUR OBSESSION WITH CHASING YOUTH. Generations are defined by the technology they grew up with, and that technology changes at a far more rapid pace than ever before. People who grew up with the first computers and the first touch screens are all in the workforce, competing for the same jobs. These changes exacerbate generational differences and discrimination against the elderly. RAPID CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY AND ADVANCES IN MEDICINE HAVE CHANGED THE WAY WE LOOK AT AGE AND AGING. IN SOME WAYS, TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE AGE IRRELEVANT, WHILE IN OTHERS, IT’S DIVIDED US FURTHER. AGELESS AGEIST
  20. 20. AGELESS PRESCHOOL IN A NURSING HOME Two Thirds of women who freeze their eggs cite deferring childbearing for a later age. – NCBI, 2013 “RIP Millennials: Marketing Will Be ‘Age Agnostic’ Next Year” – Advertising Age, 2015 A slew of mature celebrities starred in many of the year’s hottest Hollywood films and fashion campaigns. From Iris Apfel for Kate Spade, to Joan Didion for Celine, to Dolce and Gabanna’s nanas, the hottest new models are defying age norms. AGEIST AGEQUAKE The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 20,588 charges of age discrimination in 2014, a rise from 17,837 a decade earlier. “We were educated and prepared for a world that no longer exists. How many of us function effectively and efficiently with the new technology? How many of us operate in the universe of social media?” – Elaine Yaffe Workplaces are drastically altering their practices to attract and retain young talent. GE now offers unlimited vacation, McKinsey allows 5–10 weeks unpaid time for “personal interests,” and many companies are creating interim positions in order to promote younger employees more frequently.
  21. 21. IN AN INCREASINGLY DATA-DRIVEN WORLD, TOOLS TO ANALYZE AND PREDICT BEHAVIOR ARE EVERYWHERE. In our digitally focused society, everything we do creates data. The sheer volume of information provides countless data sets waiting to be analyzed and interpreted by number crunchers. Predictions from our data will continue to influence society and how we live. POLLS HAVE BEEN USED THROUGHOUT HISTORY TO ASSESS PUBLIC OPINION, SERVE AS A CATALYST FOR CHANGE AND FORECAST POLITICAL OUTCOMES. AS THE VARIETY OF DATA INCREASES, POLLS HAVE THE ABILITY TO BOTH AFFECT PUBLIC POLICY IN NEW WAYS AND DANGEROUSLY MISLEAD THE PUBLIC. AS TECHNOLOGIES EVOLVE, SO MUST DATA COLLECTION PROCESSES. POLL DATA ARE NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE, WHICH CAN GREATLY MISDIRECT POPULAR OPINION. Polls can be useful in forecasting societal outcomes, from predicting political elections to who will likely win the Super Bowl. Data can, however, be withheld, misrepresented or inaccurate, leading the data to cause mass confusion or anger. POLLS DOMINATE POLLS DESTROY
  22. 22. POLLS DOMINATE TWITTER POLLS The number of polls conducted during the year before the presidential primaries has increased by 40%. – Real Clear Politics, 2015 “Without accurate polling, government may end up losing its most powerful tool to know what the people who elect really think.” – Nate Silver With the proliferation of information today, data-driven journalism and analytics tools like data-mapping identify new trends and explore and predict human behaviors. – The Typewriter, 2015 POLLS DESTROY POLL HERDING The accuracy of poll numbers has severely weakened because it is harder to reach people by phone. Pew Research used to receive 35% response rates to their political telephone polls in the 1990s; today it’s 9%. – Information Week, 2015 “The science of public surveying is in something of a crisis right now.” Geoffrey Skelley, political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. – US News, 2015 Earlier this year, an election in Britain was falsely predicted, surprising everyone. Early forecasting suggested a win for the Labor Party, which lost to the Conservative Party. The inaccuracy could be credited to the “shy Tory” vote – voters who didn’t want to admit their intention to cast an unpopular vote. – National Review, 2015
  23. 23. ALEXANDRA.BURKE@YR.COM DIVYA.DARSI@YR.COM SANDY.THOMPSON@YR.COM

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