Monday, June 9, 2014

A Mischievous Responder

Some genius recently reported via NPR that teenagers skew important surveys by intentionally providing incorrect answers.

I know what you're thinking: "You listen to NPR?"

They call these lying teenagers "mischievous responders" and say they raise concerns over faulty data and misleading survey results. Apparently, the light bulb went off as early as 2011 when some rocket scientist with a clipboard decided to question not only the veracity of answers provided to a survey on the lives of lesbian and gay teenagers, but also whether or not the kids taking the survey were actually even homosexual.

To me, this is nothing more than one of those monumentally obvious "duh" moments.
  • The McDonald's coffee was hot and burned you? -- Duh.
  • The Outback's Bloomin' Onion appetizer is fattening? -- Duh.
  • The Kardashians are soul-sucking parasites that are 47% responsible for all tabloid sales and 97% responsible for the decline of Western culture? -- Duh.
I turned 46 recently-- unless my parents are a couple of mischievous responders -- and I can honestly say that from the very first time I was ever surveyed to the most recent, I have never completed a survey without either gleefully adding an untruth or knowingly answering a question incorrectly simply because I knew no one would take it seriously. Call me a mischievous responder, or a wisenheimer, or a smart ass if you must, but it isn't my fault. If you're hell-bent on asking me stupid questions, I'm going to dedicate myself to being equally hell-bent on giving you stupid answers.

Plus, it's fun. If you're seriously going to ask my opinion on politics while I'm sucking down Dippin' Dots somewhere between Sbarro and Auntie Anne's Pretzels at the local mall, then you deserve to hear that I don't trust the Affordable Care Act because I think President Obama used to be a Somali pirate. In fact, that kind of canvassing might explain 90% of Fox News coverage.

In fact, I plan to make it my goal to respond more and more mischievously with each future survey I take. I'll go out of my way, time permitting, to seek out people with clipboards in malls and airports just to test my creative skills on the fly. I'll even try to enlist the aide of people around me. The next time you're watching the news, don't be surprised to find out a full thirty percent of Americans believe the Pope is secretly an Islamist extremist in league with Glen Beck to undermine the stock value of Apple.

Anyone interested in starting now? Go ahead. Ask me anything.

2014 Mark Feggeler

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