Asian-Americans Set the Pace

Asian Americans setting the pace in education, income and career success, according to the Pew Research CenterAs an American with Asian relatives in my family, I’ve witnessed first-hand how having a strong work ethic and a dedication to industriousness leads to success here on our shores.

And now a new Pew Research Center study demonstrates that the anecdotal evidence of our family reflects a larger reality.

Bottom-line, Asian Americans are not only the fastest-growing racial group in the USA today, they’re also the best-educated, highest-income segment.

According to the Pew research, Asian-Americans are also more satisfied with their lives compared to the general public … as well as more satisfied with their own personal finances and the overall direction of the country.

Other questions on the Pew survey reveal that Asian-Americans place more value than other Americans in time-tested values like parenting, marriage, hard work and career success.

But they’re also distinctly “21st century” … in that they’re the most likely of any major group in America to live in mixed neighborhoods and to marry across racial or ethnic lines.

The findings of the Pew survey are even more interesting when we realize that the U.S. Asian population remains majority-immigrant – nearly 75%, in fact. Asian-Americans now represent almost 6% of the U.S. population, some ~18 million people. That’s up from less than 1% of the population in 1965.

The Pew study contains interesting income and education demographics that place Asian-Americans above all other groups. But the research also addressed attitudinal measures and found that most Asian-Americans believe the United Sates is better than their country of origin in a variety of quality-of-life factors, including:

  • The opportunity to “get ahead” (~73% in USA versus ~5% in country of origin)
  • The freedom to express political views (~69% vs. ~3%)
  • Treatment of the poor (~64% vs. ~9%)
  • Conditions for raising children (~62% vs. ~13%)
  • The freedom to practice religion (~52% vs. ~7%)

Opinion is mixed in one attribute: “the moral values of society.” In this case, ~34% of Asian-American respondents believe that the United States does better, compared to ~28% who give the edge to their country of origin.

And in one big measure – “the strength of family ties” – the U.S. falls way behind: Only ~14% perceive the U.S. does better in this attribute, while a whopping ~56% give the nod to their country of origin.

The Pew report provides a fascinating snapshot of the current situation characterizing the Asian-American experience.  More details from the Pew Research report can be found here.

Oh, S#\@*!! Facebook’s Not for Prudes

Profanity on Facebook:  More than you might imagine.In the “anything goes” world of social media, it stands to reason that the language we find there isn’t exactly reserved for polite company.

And now we have some quantifiable data that confirms those suspicions. Reppler, a Palo Alto, CA-based social media monitoring service, recently scanned some 30,000 Facebook members’ walls … and what they found wassn’t exactly the language of choirboys.

Here are two interesting stats from what Reppler discovered:

 Nearly half of the Facebook walls contain some form of profanity.

 Four out of five users with profanity on their Facebook wall have at least one comment or post from a friend that contains profanity.

What’s the most common profane terms used? Not surprisingly, the “f-word” comes out on top. That’s followed by various derivations of the word the French know as merde. Runner-up among the top three is the “b-word.”

It’s important to note that people don’t have complete control over the language their Facebook friends use. But the prevalence of profanity on Facebook walls comes at a time when many employers are increasingly looking at the online presence of their prospective hires and noting the degree of professionalism – or lack thereof – that they see.

And there’s a related issue that’s becoming increasingly significant as well. With more companies and brands creating Facebook pages and other social networking sites, monitoring the discussion that takes place on them takes on even more importance.

It’s critical for brands not to offend even a small percentage of their customers. But with the general “race to the bottom” in what’s deemed acceptable language, there are real differences in what some people think is legitimate expression … and what others would consider to be gross indecency.

These differences are a factor of not only of age, but of acculturation.

Third-party tools from Reppler and others that automatically flag certain language or phrases can alleviate some of the problem, but there’s really no substitute for good, old-fashioned site monitoring. Which is why so many companies are finding the whole social media thing to be pretty labor-intensive, when done properly.