The Sideshow

Own a tablet? You probably think you know more than your friends

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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A new poll suggests that owning a tablet computer affects a person's self-perception (Reuters)

Own a tablet? Well, this story might be old news to you. Then again, you might be lying.

A majority of Americans think they are smarter and better informed than their peers. But the number who hold themselves in higher regard swells among those individuals who use a tablet such as an iPad or Kindle, according to results of a study conducted by Wakefield Research for Next Issue Media that were provided to Yahoo News for an early peek.

“Owning a tablet may be one way to boost your news-confidence,” or so says the study on news consumption and habits that is scheduled for release late Wednesday.

Fifty-six percent of all those surveyed believe they are more knowledgeable about current events than their friends. However, there was a significant spike in that feeling among tablet users, with 69 percent saying they believe themselves to be more knowledgeable than those around them.

And apparently there’s pressure with always being right. A majority of tablet owners in the same survey, 52 percent, admitted to pretending to know about a story in order to impress their friends. Conversely, 27 percent of nontablet users admitted to lying about a news event.

Interestingly, tablet use seems to have some measurable effect on cognitive and emotional behavior as well, beyond just lying about the news.

For example, using a tablet appears to double the likelihood of trying a fad diet. Forty-two percent of tablet users admitted to trying a diet they read about online, compared with 19 percent of nontablet users.

And the trend seems to be shifting toward oversharing those personal details with people in your respective social network. In the survey, a slim majority said they think of world events when deciding what to share with their friends versus personal anecdotes, 51 to 49 percent, respectively. Though, maybe some of that oversharing is actually with merit: 82 percent said they’d trust a friend’s restaurant recommendation posted to a social media site versus 18 percent who would trust a traditional restaurant review written by professional critics.

But there was one common trait among the vast majority of respondents: 70 percent said they will “find any opportunity” to argue about news events with their friends, preferring to argue about, in descending order, politics, sports and entertainment. Ironically, the categories flipped when asked which topics respondents use to bond with co-workers, with entertainment and sports more than doubling politics.

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