Infographic: Who and what do people fantasize about?
A new survey asks Europeans and Americans to share their imaginary lives.
- People who are overwhelmingly satisfied in their relationships fantasize other people
- More of us daydream about strangers than exes or friends
- Survey asks if we need to keep our fantasies to ourselves
It's everybody's dirty little secret. Which is to say it's not much of a secret at all. Even when we're in relationships, we fantasize about other people. We may feel guilty about it—are we betraying our significant others?—or not, chalking it up to being just one of those things we can't help but do. But what, if anything, does it say about our full-time relationships?
Superdrug Online Doctor asked 1,613 people from Europe and the U.S.—via online survey platforms Amazon Turk and Clickworker—how fantasizing works when you're already hooked-up. Their data is published in infographic form as Fantasizing About Other People.
All visualizations in this article are by Superdrug Online Doctor.
We suspect our partners are thinking of someone else
Over 70% of us assume our loved ones are imagining a little lovin' with someone else. Most convinced of all are American women, who are probably right. Americans in general, are more concerned than Europeans, who may be a bit more "sophisticated" about secret dalliances than Americans.
If you’re so happy, why fantasize?
The survey suggests that fantasizing is not an indicator of serious dissatisfaction with a partner. People who fantasize are overwhelmingly "satisfied" in their relationships, though it is true that those who don't fantasize report being "very satisfied." Are those non-fantasizers super-fulfilled? Maybe, but "satisfied" is hardly, well, "dissatisfied."
Should you admit your sexy daydreaming?
Probably you should, since those who tell their partners what's going on in those lusty noggins are 10% more satisfied than those who don't. (The negative impact of guilty secrets, maybe?)
So who do we fantasize about?
We mostly picture ourselves being intimate with strangers, by a wide margin—certainly, it's easier to think of them as perfectly attractive since we don't really know them and thus about any flaws they might have. Women are most strongly drawn to strangers. Men, the dirty dogs, think more about hooking up with exes and friends.
What do we fantasize about?
For men and women both, it's mostly about sex, though it's clearly more of a priority for men. Also true to stereotype, women do think more about cuddling and kissing, but not that much more. We're all so romantic. Or at least as many as 38.5% of us are.
The mysteries of lus...sorry...love
We're confusing creatures, and "the heart [or loins] wants what the heart [or loins] wants." Pretty much all experts agree, though, that honest communication in a relationship is important. The other side of the coin is that we have to be brave enough to find out if ours is strong enough to withstand the revelation of what's really been on our sneaky minds.
- Why Do We Fantasize About Sex? There Are More Reasons Than ... ›
- Top 5 Female Sex Fantasies ... And What They Mean | HuffPost ›
- Here are the Real Reasons We Sexually Fantasize – Thrive Global ... ›
- Why We Fantasize About Other Partners | Psychology Today ›
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
A new Gallup polls shows the rising support for socialism in the United States.
- Socialism is experiencing a boom in support among Americans.
- 43% of Americans now view socialism as "a good thing".
- There are also more people (51%) against socialism as political stances hardened.
A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.
Is this proof of a dramatic shift?
- Map details dramatic shift from CNN to Fox News over 10-year period
- Does it show the triumph of "fake news" — or, rather, its defeat?
- A closer look at the map's legend allows for more complex analyses
Dramatic and misleading
Image: Reddit / SICResearch
The situation today: CNN pushed back to the edges of the country.
Over the course of no more than a decade, America has radically switched favorites when it comes to cable news networks. As this sequence of maps showing TMAs (Television Market Areas) suggests, CNN is out, Fox News is in.
The maps are certainly dramatic, but also a bit misleading. They nevertheless provide some insight into the state of journalism and the public's attitudes toward the press in the US.
Let's zoom in:
- It's 2008, on the eve of the Obama Era. CNN (blue) dominates the cable news landscape across America. Fox News (red) is an upstart (°1996) with a few regional bastions in the South.
- By 2010, Fox News has broken out of its southern heartland, colonizing markets in the Midwest and the Northwest — and even northern Maine and southern Alaska.
- Two years later, Fox News has lost those two outliers, but has filled up in the middle: it now boasts two large, contiguous blocks in the southeast and northwest, almost touching.
- In 2014, Fox News seems past its prime. The northwestern block has shrunk, the southeastern one has fragmented.
- Energised by Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Fox News is back with a vengeance. Not only have Maine and Alaska gone from entirely blue to entirely red, so has most of the rest of the U.S. Fox News has plugged the Nebraska Gap: it's no longer possible to walk from coast to coast across CNN territory.
- By 2018, the fortunes from a decade earlier have almost reversed. Fox News rules the roost. CNN clings on to the Pacific Coast, New Mexico, Minnesota and parts of the Northeast — plus a smattering of metropolitan areas in the South and Midwest.
Image source: Reddit / SICResearch
This sequence of maps, showing America turning from blue to red, elicited strong reactions on the Reddit forum where it was published last week. For some, the takeover by Fox News illustrates the demise of all that's good and fair about news journalism. Among the comments?
- "The end is near."
- "The idiocracy grows."
- "(It's) like a spreading disease."
- "One of the more frightening maps I've seen."
- "LOL that's what happens when you're fake news!"
- "CNN went down the toilet on quality."
- "A Minecraft YouTuber could beat CNN's numbers."
- "CNN has become more like a high-school production of a news show."
Not a few find fault with both channels, even if not always to the same degree:
- "That anybody considers either of those networks good news sources is troubling."
- "Both leave you understanding less rather than more."
- "This is what happens when you spout bullsh-- for two years straight. People find an alternative — even if it's just different bullsh--."
- "CNN is sh-- but it's nowhere close to the outright bullsh-- and baseless propaganda Fox News spews."
"Old people learning to Google"
Image: Google Trends
CNN vs. Fox News search terms (200!-2018)
But what do the maps actually show? Created by SICResearch, they do show a huge evolution, but not of both cable news networks' audience size (i.e. Nielsen ratings). The dramatic shift is one in Google search trends. In other words, it shows how often people type in "CNN" or "Fox News" when surfing the web. And that does not necessarily reflect the relative popularity of both networks. As some commenters suggest:
- "I can't remember the last time that I've searched for a news channel on Google. Is it really that difficult for people to type 'cnn.com'?"
- "More than anything else, these maps show smart phone proliferation (among older people) more than anything else."
- "This is a map of how old people and rural areas have learned to use Google in the last decade."
- "This is basically a map of people who don't understand how the internet works, and it's no surprise that it leans conservative."
A visual image as strong as this map sequence looks designed to elicit a vehement response — and its lack of context offers viewers little new information to challenge their preconceptions. Like the news itself, cartography pretends to be objective, but always has an agenda of its own, even if just by the selection of its topics.
The trick is not to despair of maps (or news) but to get a good sense of the parameters that are in play. And, as is often the case (with both maps and news), what's left out is at least as significant as what's actually shown.
One important point: while Fox News is the sole major purveyor of news and opinion with a conservative/right-wing slant, CNN has more competition in the center/left part of the spectrum, notably from MSNBC.
Another: the average age of cable news viewers — whether they watch CNN or Fox News — is in the mid-60s. As a result of a shift in generational habits, TV viewing is down across the board. Younger people are more comfortable with a "cafeteria" approach to their news menu, selecting alternative and online sources for their information.
It should also be noted, however, that Fox News, according to Harvard's Nieman Lab, dominates Facebook when it comes to engagement among news outlets.
CNN, Fox and MSNBC
Image: Google Trends
CNN vs. Fox (without the 'News'; may include searches for actual foxes). See MSNBC (in yellow) for comparison
For the record, here are the Nielsen ratings for average daily viewer total for the three main cable news networks, for 2018 (compared to 2017):
- Fox News: 1,425,000 (-5%)
- MSNBC: 994,000 (+12%)
- CNN: 706,000 (-9%)
And according to this recent overview, the top 50 of the most popular websites in the U.S. includes cnn.com in 28th place, and foxnews.com in... 27th place.The top 5, in descending order, consists of google.com, youtube.com, facebook.com, amazon.com and yahoo.com — the latter being the highest-placed website in the News and Media category.
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