When it comes to participating in surveys, I’m one of those people who feel compelled to express his opinion — whether it fits mainstream idealisms or is simply the product of me having a bad attitude about the subject being asked about.

When it comes to participating in surveys, I’m one of those people who feel compelled to express his opinion — whether it fits mainstream idealisms or is simply the product of me having a bad attitude about the subject being asked about.

Either way, each time I visit a news website and after reading that day’s top stories, I seek out the latest unscientific survey, where I’m often amused by the results.

For example, what kind of person participates in a survey just so he can answer a question, “I don’t know” or “undecided”?

A couple of weeks ago, while on one of my missions to find truth for whether Lindsay Lohan’s fingernails were really blurred like they showed on television during her recent court sentencing, I found a survey asking participants to weigh in on World Cup soccer.

The question, which commanded my attention was posed, “Do you plan to watch the World Cup Soccer finals?”

The selection of answers were well thought-up and obviously designed to promote deep-thinking — “yes,” “no” or “undecided.”

Since the event was already over, I provided my answer — “no” — and waited for the results page to flash onto the computer screen.

Based on that particular website and speaking unscientifically, there were more people who watched paint dry than viewed the World Cup.

But I jotted down the statistics anyway.

Out of the 264 people who had participated, a whopping 198, or 75 percent, planned to follow something else, while 42 people were glued to their television sets.  

Another 24 people were undecided and apparently participated in online surveys instead.

Several days later, just for laughs, I returned to the site to see if the final results were posted. That’s when I found something that really piqued my curiosity. 

Of the final numbers, which had grown to 216 people not watching and 58 others who sat in front of television sets with Funyuns and a vuvuzela — the South African noisemaker that many people are trying to ban from future World Cups — six additional people had logged in to express they still didn’t know whether they would be watching or not.

This information begged me to wonder how those folks achieved Internet access from their caves.

Of course, they may have been forward-thinking and didn’t know whether they would watch the next event.

Sure.

And Congress will become bipartisan during their next session, also.

The survey reminded me how every minute of every day, our society is inundated by data being manipulated and forwarded through some media and bloggers.

Some of it’s true, but many remain skeptical.

Like me.

For example, there is plenty of data spewing about the upcoming state and federal primary elections.

And during the past several weeks, I’ve seen more political posturing than on an entire season of the TV reality show “Survivor.”

Lies are trumped only by bigger lies and misrepresentations. 

And ruthless attacks of one candidate on another mar the ability for many voters to decide who is qualified and who should be flogged.

Or forced to endure several minutes of a vuvuzela serenade.

It might make an interesting survey, however.

Ken Knepper is publisher of The Newton Kansan and The McPherson Sentinel. He can be contacted at kenneth.knepper@thekansan.com.