Numlock News: August 23, 2018

By Walt Hickey

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Cell Phone Attachment

A new Pew study of mobile phone screentime found 56 percent of teens associated the absence of their cellphone with feelings of loneliness, anxiety or being upset, which is doing wonders for my self-esteem as my birthday is coming up and I was beginning to feel old.

Jingjing Jiang, Pew Research Center

Executive Senior Directors of Front Desk Staffing

A new survey of 300 employers found 39 percent give out promotions that do not come with an associated pay raise, a figure that was only 22 percent in 2011. Some employers give out boosted titles to satisfy employees who want a more ambitious job, while others just do it so they can assign more work or duties and not have to pay. On a related note, congratulations to Numlock’s copy editor on her promotion to Senior Analyst for Grammatical Accuracy and Lexicographic Fidelity.

Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal


The viewership of the MTV Video Music Awards was down 8 percent overall and 10 percent in the key demo, which could be bad news for a television network devoted to a medium that is overwhelmingly available in multiple other places for free and instantaneously on demand. Local experts, who I am also dating, suggest that the decline is the result of not giving Britney an award.

Matt Miller, Esquire

Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory, a top-rated CBS sitcom, will conclude after its 12th season and 279th episode, going down as the longest-running multi-camera sitcom. It is unclear if the finale will involve heat death, the Big Crunch proposed by some researchers, or merely an ever-expanding universe where the distances between objects becomes impossible to overcome.

Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter


The New Jersey Poison Control Center would very much prefer if residents of the Garden State would stop eating poisonous mushrooms. Cases of mushroom poisonings were way up this year following a hot, humid and rainy summer that was perfect for mushroom growth. Poison control fielded 38 reports of mushroom poisoning from July 1 to Aug. 13 this year, up from 15 cases last year, 16 in 2014, 4 in 2013 and 10 in 2012.

Spencer Kent, NJ Advance Media for

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Summer Jobs Shilling On Instagram

Teens who are power users on Instagram can make a robust income over the summer selling sponsored content, anywhere from $5 to $20 for a typical post depending on experience and audience, with the going rate of about $3 for every thousand followers the user has. My first summer gig was as a cart boy at a nearby country club. If I were to compare my summer spent picking up balls on an active driving range preferred by mean-spirited and accurate golfers with, say, shilling on Insta, I suppose I get the appeal.

Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic


Sales of existing, pre-owned homes fell for the fourth consecutive month, with single family home sales falling 0.2 percent for an annual rate of 4.75 million homes. As it stands, homes were on the market an average of 27 days, up from an average of 26 days in June.

Jeff Kearns and Katia Dmitrieva, Bloomberg

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Previous Sunday special editions: Conspiracy Theorists · Beaches · Bubbles · NYC Trash · Fish Wars · Women’s Jeans · Video Stores

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