Frick being normal.

November 14, 2011 · 36 comments

Girl Ninja and I heard a great message at church yesterday; it was titled “Weird: Because normal isn’t working”. It was an awesome message about how being weird is a good thing. I liked the message, so I thought I’d incorporate it into today’s blog post. Let’s take a look at some statistics, observations, and facts.

Money:

  • Average credit card debt per household with credit card debt: $15,799
  • Average student loan debt: $25,250
  • Average new car down payment: 5%
  • Average down payment on FHA loan: 3.5%
  • Median income in America: $46,326/year
  • According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth.

Life in General:

  • Half of my friends’ parents are divorced.
  • Men base their worth off how fast their car is, how much they can bench press, or how big their paycheck is.

  • More people DON’T vote than DO vote.
  • 72,000,000 American adults are obese.
  • 99% of households have a TV. In which the TV is on an average of 6.47 hours per day.
  • Children are in school on average 900 hours a year, but watch 1,500 hours of television.
  • More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month.
  • Average age of first exposure to internet pornography: eleven years old.

I conjured up all of those stats with just a few minutes of research. I don’t even want to know what else I’d find out if I kept digging. Truth is, being normal isn’t working out to well for most people. Why follow what the majority of the people are doing when the majority of people are fat, unhappy, lazy, and broke? I’ll take weird any day of the week.

What other stats/facts/observations can you throw in to the mix? Are you tired of being normal? What are you gonna do (or have you done) about it?

1 cashflowmantra

I don’t have any other stats to add but, I do want to get out of debt. Also, my wife and I decided that divorce was never a word that would even enter our vocabulary. Do we get mad at each other? Yes. Do we discuss? Yes. Do I compromise most often? Yes. But it seems to work.

2 Dave Hilton

A recent survey found the average family has $5500 worth of “stuff” in the garage they don’t use (via The Daily Mail – http://bit.ly/tPcMLS)! Unfortunately, I think my family is a bit above average for that stat (yikes!).

What am I going to do about it? My new “13” rule- if I haven’t used/displayed/needed an item in 13 months- it will be posted on EBAY or CRAIGSLIST for sale (& money used to pay off debt) or donated to the local Salvation Army, Goodwill, Family/Women’s Shelter!

3 Brett

I don’t think visiting a pornographic site one time a month is considered perverted. Also, what is considered internet pornography that this 11 year old is exposed to? Is a women in a bikini pornography? How about a woman faking an orgasm….cause I have seen that demonstrated on broadcast television.

72,000,000 americans are obese because the standards for obesity are so broad now.

Statistics tell only a snippet of a story. I think your post is sensationalist and not as researched as what you normally post.

4 Jennifer R

I have to completely disagree with you, Brett. Visiting a pornographic website at ANY time is perverted. Of course that’s based on what I morally feel is right and wrong, and others are welcome to their own opinions. But every woman on a pornographic website is someone’s wife/daughter/sister/granddaughter.

And while I agree that the standards for obesity may be broad, I think they should actually be more strict than they are. As Americans, we consume much more food than our body requires. Combine that with a relatively sedentary lifestyle due to lack of exercise, many hours in front of the TV, and kids playing video games rather than playing outside, you get an American generation that is one of the sickest (health wise) that our country has ever seen. The overweight/obesity epidemic currently in our nation (and yes, it is an epidemic) not only costs our country billions of dollars each year in health costs, it’s also ensuring that the life span of the average American will be greatly diminished.

Statistics do only tell a snippet of a story. However, there are some things that you just can not deny, statistics or not. And if you do, I’m afraid you are being a bit naive.

5 Ryan

Your comment made me wonder something. Why does no one ever say “But every MAN on a pornographic website is someone‚Äôs husband/son/brother/grandson”?

6 Bee

You are definitely right about the porn… plus multiple researchers have found that easier access to pornography is possibly connected to reduction of rape. I’m all for less rape!

The beautiful woman section is definitely sensationalist and under-researched. Plenty of shapely woman are still considered beautiful (Sophia Vegara anyone?).

7 Matt, Tao of Unfear

You and I might both consider shapely women beautiful, and we might even be in the majority, but that doesn’t explain away trends in the media over the past 60 years. See, for example, http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2009/st_infoporn_1702.

The average woman, and the women being put on pedestals by the average glossy, have diverged in shape and size considerably over the past 60 years. Both sides are unfortunate: out of control obesity rates, and the glamorization of anorexia.

And just as Ryan started pointing out with regard to our obsession with women’s bodies, we have a strange dichotomy, where discussion of women’s body issues is forced into the light (for better and worse), and discussion of men’s body issues will never see the light (for better and worse). Neither is really ideal, but each sex is pushed into a different direction. That interests/troubles me. Are men and women that different in terms of psychological needs?

8 Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)

I’ve always made an effort not to be normal/average. I did 8 years of college to become a dentist. I never did fall in with the party crowd and thus have no drunken photos/stories to haunt me from my past, I am debt free except for my house, and I developed a personal finance course to show people how they can do that too. Average is for losers because anyone can be average without even trying.

Give me a curvy Marilyn Monroe every time!

9 Skrizel

Dont get lost in the weeds here, the point of the post is that “Normal” isnt working in our society and that one option is to be “Weird” and do things against the grain. Not whether porn is perverted or what makes a woman beautiful. Correct me if i am wrong, but, this post makes me think about what i am doing and the choices i make and if the results of those choices are beneficial, making me or the world around me better.

10 Caulk Philosophy

A perversion is a sexual practice that deviates from the norm. If you say that 70% of men between 18-34 look at porn on a monthly basis, then there is no logical way for you to imply that this is a perversion. There is no moral argument here. Good luck with your blogging – I’ve unsubscribed.

11 Ninja

I find it funny you have the need to tell me you’re unsubsciribing as though you expect me to fight for you to stick around. Have fun on those “other” websites :)

12 Lysander

I think that it’s fair to point out that Ninja did not called looking at pornography perverted (one of the other commentators did that) just that he implied that it was normal/average/typical behavior and that was one of the ways that he didn’t want to be normal.

13 Ninja

Actually I did say “perverted” in the post, but then I removed it because commenters seemed to be focusing on that one word, and not the larger message the article was trying to convey. It was distracting from the main point so I removed it.

14 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

Just because a majority of people do it doesn’t make it “moral”. And just because you disagree with an author on one topic (that isn’t likely to come up again on this blog soon, if ever) doesn’t mean you should stop reading it.

You may want to take a minute and think about why you were so offended by this post, and then decide if it’s time to readjust your priorities.

15 Lysander

What makes something moral? Is not what is considered moral defined by the majority in a culture defines as acceptable?

If something doesn’t live up to your own personal standards of being moral you can sit in judgment of others all you want, but no one person gets to decided what an entire culture considers moral or immoral.

16 Ninja

So if the majority of Americans have debt, am I not allowed to say being debt free is a better option? Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s right.

17 Lysander

Depends, are you saying that people shouldn’t be in dept because it is immoral to be in debt or because being in debt increases your risk and reduces your options because you are beholden to that debt.

18 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

I agree with you. No one person, and no 70% of people get to decide what is and is not moral.

Whether I do or don’t believe that pornography is immoral is irrelevant to my response. I took issue with the comment, “There is no moral argument here.” This commenter suggests that I should accept pornography as so clearly and definitively “moral” that any argument to the contrary should not even be considered.

If the majority of the country is white, and that majority believes that black people are not equal human beings, but property to be owned, does that make slavery moral? Of course not. Majority or minority opinion has nothing to do with the inherent morality of an issue.

19 Melissa

Being normal isn’t working for me.
Happy to report that I recently lost 30 lbs have moved from the “obese” catagory to the “overweight” catagory according to BMI stats. Getting close to having my Marilyn Monroesqe body back!

Small changes to the norm make a huge impact, just by eliminating fast food I am reducing my debt quicker (not wasting money on junk) and becoming healthier.

20 S.

A lot of the statistics you posted are averages… does average = normal?

21 Amanda

Not normal: The average American buys a new car every 3-5 years. We have a 2003 paid for car, and a 2009 paid for car (bought with cash). Right now, some of our savings goes into our “Next Paid For Car” account each month. We are never going to finance again, which just shows that the people that go along sheep like with the statement, “You’re ALWAYS going to have a car payment,” may be normal, but they aren’t right.

Not normal: I found this online: That’s according to a 99-page study, “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consquence,” released Monday by the National Endowment for the Arts as a follow-up to a 2004 NEA survey, “Reading at Risk,” that found an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year.
My husband listens to books on CD every day while he commutes. He probably reads (listens to) 2-3 books a month. I read an average of 3-5 books a week. Reading is how I spend my free time rather than watching tv.

22 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

10% of American Families live below the poverty line :(
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_submenuId=factsheet_1&_sse=on

23 Ryan

A lot of these statistics are bad (mainly the financial ones), but a lot don’t seem to be that big a deal to me.

Divorce: It is what it is. My parents divorced when I was 4, I’m 19 now. My life is going pretty well…maybe them getting divorced was better than them staying married.

Television: I have the TV on all the time when I’m home….but I don’t watch 7 hours of TV per day. Most kids are only in school for 180 days a year, the TV is available 365. I was also at school everyday for 2 hours of cross country or track practice. Not academic, but still putting time to good use.

Porn: 70%? I figured it’d be closer to 90%! It’s a sensitive subject, but I think the U.S. would be a lot better off if Americans would stop treating sex and nudity as a taboo subject.

24 Ninja

I don’t think porn helps make sex less taboo. Education does. But there is hardly an argument for hardcore midget porn bringing shedding new light on nudity.

25 Ryan

I don’t know man…”one person’s trash is another’s treasure”. ;)

Google (not image search) “rule 34″.

26 StackingCash

I’m definately freaky. I don’t invest in the stock market, don’t believe in having a mortgage or any loan for that matter, and I vote so I can complain about politics :)

27 Nate

Do you go to a lifechurch.tv network church? ;)

28 Ninja

Nope, but was that their message recently?

29 Nate

Well, the Weird series was done when the book came out earlier this year. There are 5 messages total, and they’re all available online for free.

30 krantcents

Statistics can be used to persuade you to do anything. I try to ignore these kinds of things and stick with my values and thoughts.

31 Financial Uproar

This post wasn’t so bad when it encouraged sound financial principles. It quickly went downhill when it tried to impose morality on the reader. All of the issues you bring up are much more complicated than what the statistics indicate.

32 Ninja

There is a difference between imposing morality upon my readers and stating my personal morals.

If I am not allowed to do that on my blog, then we have problems.

33 Donna Freedman

50% of statistics are made-up.
How do I know? I just made that figure up.
As for normal: The heck with it. I’ve spent my whole life doing things bass-ackward. Had a kid without being married, took journalism jobs without getting any training, haven’t worked a full-time job in nine years (and don’t plan to get one if I can help it), accepted a blogging gig without knowing what blogs were, finally got a university degree at 52. You can figure an awful lot of things out if you make it your business to learn them. Necessity/adrenaline both focus your mind MARVELOUSLY.
My best friend says, “You’re only young once, but you can be immature the rest of your life.” And that is my plan.
She also says, “Don’t take life too seriously, because you’ll never get out of it alive.” So why obsess over dress sizes et al.? I haven’t been a size 5 since I *was* five.

34 iwantmyhdbflat

I’m 29, I put aside 90% of my income every month for retirement, insurance, downpayment for my first apartment, savings, and of course credit card debt.
I have limits on how much I should live my life, travel and entertain with the remaining 10%.
This is not normal for people my age who feel like they should be buying cars, designer bags and clothes, but hey, at least I can choose to travel around the world when I hit 60.

35 Nick

Dude, it’s your blog and your free to state whatever you want, but don’t be surprised when certain statements solicite a response. Yes, you can state you feel being in debt is bad, but you alienate your readers if you say…”Only morons have debt!”. I don’t read your blog for that kind of judgemental crap which is why you hit a nerve with people (at least 70% of males according to your statistics) by calling them perverted. There is a way to state your opinion without seeming preachy. Food for thought.

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