Ford, as part of its publicity push on the occasion of Mustang's 50 years on the road, recently conducted a survey. The basic idea was to get a sense of Americans' sense of adventure as it stands in 2014. And part of that sense, adventure being what it is and Americans being what they are, has to do with technology.
In an online survey of "1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+"—a sample size that, caveat, is not large—Ford asked a series of questions about Americans' relationship with both new tech and new experiences. Among the findings: Almost half (45 percent) of the respondents who use social media think that their friends and followers come across as more adventurous on those platforms than they actually are in, as it were, "real life." Men are also slightly more likely than women to think that they'll be the first to try new technologies (33 percent to 25 percent). And, when asked which people are most likely to convince them to try something new, the respondents replied that spouses and significant others were more influential, at 32 percent, than friends (23 percent), family (21 percent), and children (19 percent).
The most striking stat, though, is one that has to do with the particular reasons people take on adventures in the first place. When Ford asked its survey participants, "Have you ever, even once, done something just so you could post about it on social media?" 16 percent of them replied, "yes, more than once." And 13 percent of them replied, "yes, once." Which means that nearly a third of Ford's respondents have done something simply to write or tweet or post or talk about it online.