Remarkable times we’re living in to say the least.

Here are a few things we’ve been seeing through the fog:

Maybe Gen Xers are gearing up for four years of hibernation. We noticed an interesting trend in our data about sleep over the past year. The number of Gen Xers who reported getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night rose a full 5 percentage points in 2016. Perhaps my over-working, over-parenting, over-stressing peers are finally starting to take care of themselves. Or maybe we’re just exhausted.

And everyone seems to be chilling out about consumer privacy. We don’t often see many time-graphs that look like a double-black-diamond ski slope, but this is pretty close.

The drop is evident particularly among Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers. Is it because people feel safer? Or have they accepted that privacy trade-offs are worth the conveniences of technology and free content on the web? Or have they simply decided it’s a battle they can’t win? We don’t know for sure but we’ll see if we can find out.

“Light” restaurant diners might be the industry’s best hope. You might be getting bored of all the restaurant-related stuff I cover. But I can’t stress enough how important we believe the industry is, both in terms of its direct economic impact and its correlation to and ripple effects across the broader economy. Given the brutal headwinds the industry is facing, we keep looking for ways restaurants can win. At least for now, it looks like there is more opportunity to grow among less frequent diners, particularly in the QSR category.

If you’re looking for other reasons to be hopeful this weekend, maybe our country isn’t quite as polarized as it might appear. On a purely personal crusade, I set up an experiment to see if every Trump supporter is as universally optimistic and/or every Trump detractor is as universally despondent as my Facebook feed would have me believe. If you don’t want to read my full article, here are two nuggets: Republicans are clearly not thrilled with Trump’s use of Twitter. Democrats are most optimistic (or least pessimistic) about the economic outlook. I’m not expecting a revival of Hands Across America (did I just date myself, or what?), but there’s at least a glimmer of possibility that people can moderate their opinions when pressed to do so.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend. Oh, and Go Steelers.


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