Enough already! It's time to make it stop!  If you're one of those folks who browse social media and the internet - happily clicking on every random test and survey - sharing your results - stop it!  I think I speak for a lot of people when I say "we don't care".

This morning, my social media news feed was full of acquaintances proudly sharing the results of a new survey;  apparently, Duluth was ranked number one in the nation as the "Least Stressed City".  According to SmartAsset.com, the Zenith city moved two places up from last years results, claiming the top spot on the list.  According to their scientific results, here are the qualifications:

One of the benefits of working in Duluth is the relatively short work weeks. The average work week in Duluth is 35 hours, a slight increase from last year.

If you worked less what sort of things might you do? Sleep more? That is exactly what Duluth residents seem to do. The average resident here comes pretty close to getting the recommended eight hours per night, sleeping an average of 7.2 hours per night. That’s the fifth-most in the country. If this has convinced you to move to Duluth, be aware that the income taxes in Minnesota are high.

Living here, you probably just ready those two paragraphs and agreed with everything they said.  Okay, fine.  But here's an exercise for you:  try replacing the word "Duluth" with another random community's name - like Togo.  Now, go back and reread SmartAsset's findings.  Interesting how the sentences still work and - if you asked them - the residents who live in Togo (an unincorporated community in Minnesota's Itasca County that the U.S. Census doesn't list a population for) would probably rightly believe that their community ranked in the top spot.

The reason for this is that surveys like this are meaningless;  they use objective statistics that could be shaped into any results the organizers want them to be.  Couple together some weather facts and you could make the argument that Duluth ranks number one as the Worst Winter City in America.  But - so would Cloquet.  Proctor.  Superior.  Two Harbors.  You see what I mean?

Back to Duluth.  I sincerely don't mean to take anything away from Duluth and it's ranking as the Least Stressed City in America.  Congratulations on winning this click-bait survey.  Those of us who live here know that you're (even) better than that!


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