STATE OF AMERICA
American Dream In The Balance – Since the phrase was coined more than 80 years ago, the “American Dream” has proved an enduring concept. Advertising agency JWT has tracked how perceptions of the American Dream have shifted in the last four years by comparing findings from a similar JWTIntelligence survey conducted during the last presidential campaign. So what does the dream look like today versus four years ago? Some things actually are the same, including the top five factors that respondents say are a part of what the American Dream means today: finding happiness, personal independence, fulfilling my potential, home ownership and freedom to be able to go anywhere. But there have been changes. Americans today are more likely to believe the dream is about having wealth, access to credit, fame and recognition. This isn’t an unconscious shift–people polled this year say that in the past the dream was more about middle-class values, community, family and getting married. Today respondents say consumption, making a lot of money, fame, equality and succeeding professionally are more commonly part of the dream.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Nielsen’s Economic Divide – Over the next ten years, the total number of households in the U.S. is expected to grow by 8%; however, households closer to the poverty level will grow twice as fast at 17%. To better understand consumers across the economic spectrum, Nielsen conducted an analysis of consumer behaviors and media usage. Results revealed dramatic differences in purchasing and media consumption patterns across income levels. Spending on consumer packaged goods varies by income level with higher-income households spending nearly $1200 more per year than lower-income households. Shopping behaviors also vary with lower-income shoppers shopping more frequently and having smaller baskets, while higher-income shoppers spend more than $10 per trip. When it comes to media consumption, income levels influence media purchases and the means by what content is accessed. While higher-income consumers are unique in their access to various devices and media types, lower-income consumers are distinguished in their higher than average consumption of the media they do have access to, including digital media. As devices get more affordable, it looks as technology will prove to be the great economic leveler and give all consumers more access to media.
Online Dating Goes Offline- Online dating has gone “retro” with the latest high-tech dating technology, bringing people together the old-fashioned way, with singles parties where people can crowd together at bars while consuming alcohol and flirting. “There have been so many times I’ve met up with someone from the Internet in person and didn’t feel a spark,” said Emily Clapp, who was at a recent beer-tasting event organized by the popular dating site OkCupid. “It’s so disappointing to invest all that time e-mailing and then…nothing.” Like many others, Ms.Clapp says the offline events can help identify a potential date more quickly. Online, they find they can spend weeks or months exchanging messages with someone and then schedule dinner or drinks – only to realize within minutes that the date is a dud. There is only so much you can do online with data. There’s always the unknown factor that has to do with pheromones and human nature, making meeting someone at a bar new again.
History Books Come Alive On Facebook’s Timeline- History classes have created a new approach to studying major historical events. Amsterdam-based school, 4e Gymnasium, has taken advantage of the popularity of Facebook and the user-friendly Timeline feature to inspire a curriculum. The page allows students to create posts, link various media and generate dialogue with fellow classmates. The class is focusing on four subjects: Magellan’s voyages, 20th century inventions, Fashion history from 1950-present and the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. By focusing on the content and the chronology of events, students are able to experience a larger understanding of cultural and social themes, trends and milestone achievements. Watch the video here.
ON THE RADAR
Culture Observation: In yet another sign that iPhones are taking over our lives, the New York Police Department has established an iPhone Operation I.D. Program to better protect and serve its smartphone-addicted citizens. The I.D. Program’s goal is to preemptively fight iPhone theft by encouraging customers to register their device’s serial number with the NYPD. Establishing ownership of a device before it’s stolen will let customers recover a stolen device without hassle. If you live in New York, the NYPD has made signing up even easier by posting themselves right outside the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue.
Yahoo! News | September 21, 2012
Try This Site: If This Then That is a startup that helps connect all the apps and websites you use on a daily basis so that digital happenings can have real-world consequences. For example, do you ever take an Instagram photo and then send it to Gmail to print later? You could make a recipe on the IFTTT site which basically says, “If an Instagram photo is taken, then send that photo to Gmail.” After you set the recipe once, the internet automatically does the rest of the work for you. Even if you aren’t a coding genius, you can browse through other users’ recipes and pick ones most useful to your daily life.
Watch This Video: This week Justin Timberlake helped relaunched the newly redesigned MySpace site. The visually arresting interface scrolls horizontally, and its focus on visual design makes it look very similar to Pinterest. Aside from aesthetics, the new MySpace is different because it will focus more narrowly on becoming a social home for musicians, artists, celebrities and their fans. You can request an invite for a MySpace account, or you can check out the new site design by watching this video.