Some time ago I posted about a survey by an outfit called Peninsula Ireland. The alleged findings of the survey were so absurd that they could be seen to be untrue after a split second’s reflection. Two broadhseet newspapers either failed to invest this split second, or else, having done so, were happy to print commercially-motivated untruths as fact.
Today, Peninisula are back with more “findings“. This time, it appears that employees are spending an average of 2 hours 20 minutes per day on personal email and surfing the web. Not only that, but more than two-thirds of employers have disciplined staff for such exessive use. As is the case every time I read a Peninsula “finding” (Peninsula never seem to release the actual results of the surveys they claim to carry out, only press releases containing hack-friendly factoids), I am quite confident when I say that I don’t believe a word of this.
The newspapers on the other hand are only too happy to present unverified and highly questionable claims of a private enterprise to their readers. In the case of the Irish Times, they are more than willing to throw in a little fabrication of their own. “Workers twittering away more than two hours a day online” goes the headline in the Irish Times, despite there being no mention of Twitter elsewhere in the story. But twitter is all the rage these days, so let’s throw in a gratuitous mention, and to hell with whether the reader is misled or not.
I should be clear that I don’t blame Peninsula for any of this. They are only doing their job by exploiting the gullibility of the press. Their suveys may insult the intelligence of the average person, but clearly they don’t insult that of our print media, who time and again swallow this nonsense and pass it off on us as news.
Note: I wrote this last night, but in the end decided not to publish it, figuring the territory had already been covered. Then I got this lovely comment. A comment weirdly similar to one left at Maman Poulet under a different name) Of course, it would be petty and childish to publish the post just to annoy them. But hey, that’s me.