The results are in!

Well, I do admit that my experiment was not done in the most scientific of ways. Still, I think the results are interesting, and I’d like to share them.

I am looking to see if my Facebook “friends” represent as much diversity as I would like to think that I have among my friends. I looked at Race/Ethnicity, Religion, Political Affiliation and Views and the size of the city or town a person lives in.

Out of 365 Facebook friends, I received 60 responses (15.6%). Admittedly, the sample is not large enough to have a high confidence rate — it’s about 95% confidence +/-20% — to be certain that the responses reflect the true spectrum of my Facebook friends in entirety. Also, I was limited in scope by the bounds of Survey Monkey, which allows only 10 questions before requiring one to upgrade to a paid account. I also, in retrospect, made some deep errors in questioning — particularly in asking about religious identity— and leaving out important categories on diversity, such as disability and geographic location.

Nonetheless, this is what I found:

My Facebook friends are:

  • Politically Liberal
  • Racially White
  • Straight
  • Believers in God

Now these are broad strokes painted from the results. I have decided to analyze the results of each of the 10 questions in the survey. These will be done in a series of posts.

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve am a cradle (Northern) Californian who has practiced law for half his 65 years in Des Moines. I first saw your thoughts on insider Iowan. Your list needs to be at least expanded to include family constellation and family order (including only child), year of birth (the past is another country), passport holding/non holding, blue or pink collar work (distinguish but consider a summer job), participation in sports (not just driving an Sport Utility Vehicle and watching Tiger play golf whilst you sit beside Rush in a sky box). And don’t forget what George Orwell sad, “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.” New York Review of Books, May 26, 2011, at 43.

    Send me your current geographical, web, or both address, and I will send you something intriguing. Do you have any contacts in San Luis Obispo County? My wife, Mary, and I are thinking of escaping weather and returning to the ocean ourselves and would value any contacts.

    Did you and your family end up, even temporarily, in a more temperate climate?
    2930 Sioux Court
    Des Moines IA 50321-1446
    (515) 280-1161

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for the suggestions! Survey Monkey only allowed me 20 questions, but in retrospect I would have fine-tuned them a little more to get more diversity on a greater number of characteristics.
      San Luis Obispo County is beautiful from top to bottom. Most of my contacts have moved from the area, but it’s a friendly place and easy to settle in. Enjoy!

  2. OMG! this is ridiculous and their lack of education is making us all nervous. I am so sorry you had to go through this and for them, I extend sincere apologies. My husband is an Arabic Moroccan now with a Canadian passport, he calls himself a Moroccan living in Canada. We experience this racial profiling each time we enter the US, and only the US. I’d like to say it is coincidence but I’d be lying by saying that. You didn’t deserve to be treated this way but we are forever grateful you share your story for others to learn and become more tolerant.

    • David Hilbert

       /  September 14, 2011

      You would think that maybe after receiving a Canadian passport, he could also call himself a Canadian, and not merely a Moroccan living in Canada? Don’t you think that comes across as somewhat… ungrateful?

  3. I haven’t head of Survey Monkey before. I will check it out. thanks.

  4. Interesting hotelgoddess about your hubby. And sad.

    I read briefly your post about your detainment in Detroit. Some commenters assumed that you weren’t an American or even a resident. Sad. I didn’t want to comment there because you had a rockin’ 1,000+ commenters. Now that is a serious record.

    Keep writing. But enjoy also…one day you will do a satirical piece.

  5. I’m not on Facebook and choose not to be there when I’m busy enough blogging across …4 different blogs.

    There’s a pile of folks who choose not to be on FB.

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