PUBLIC OPINION > TED Talks: Women and Christians Think It's Too Hyped

News 2013/02/28 23:00:00
TED Talks is an annual global conference that was founded in 1984 to circulate “ideas worth spreading.” Thanks to past presenters like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and a long list of Nobel Prize winners, TED Talks has become a prestigious, much-sought-after event to attend. But even if you’re not invited, you can still join in. Since 2006, each talk has been made available online for streaming, and the videos have been viewed over one billion times.

Sounds like a pretty big deal right? Well thanks to a recent LA Times poll, we know that while a slim majority supports TED (51%) not everyone believes the hype. Let's dig a little deeper, shall we?


64% of women voted that TED Talks are too hyped making them one of the most significant demographics to vote this way. There have been many female TED presenters, so a lack of diversity most likely isn't the problem. Perhaps the presentation topics haven't historically appealed to women as much, and if that's the case, we should see a change in this statistic as events like TEDWomen begin to gain traction.


Despite the inclusion of well-known Christian presenters like Billy Graham and Rick Warren, 68% of Christian users voted that TED Talks are over-hyped. This could be because the conference is more associated with atheist speakers such as Richard Dawkins, or because they might find some of the topics to be in opposition to their faith. Alternatively, 58% of agnostics and 78% of atheists voted that TED Talks are not over-hyped, which supports the idea that the content of the presentations could be causing this divide.


The majority of users aged 13-17 (62%), 18-24 (56%), and 25-34 (59%) don't think it's too hyped, while the majority of users aged 35-44 (58%), 45-54 (86%) and 65+ (54%) think that it is. Maybe it's because the younger generation is more invested in the future and where technology is leading us.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit the LA Times poll about TED Talks. We'd love to hear from you!
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  • xianpoxi 2013/03/26 17:27:03
    I've enjoyed several TED talks presentations. However, I think the 'too hyped' label is because almost all the presentations talk like they are going to change the world.. and they really won't.

    The entertainment and Design aspects, although they do have merit, feel especially Narcissistic when they claim they will change the world.
    Its not that they are not interesting.. but the self hype and narcissism are off-putting.
  • albertogonzalo.ubillus 2013/03/15 20:27:48
    hola como les va hautedes amigos
  • El Prez 2013/03/07 22:18:21
    El Prez
    It is fine! if the Christians don't like it, it is probably just too fair and not slanted their way.
  • authorgirl 2013/03/06 04:42:55
    I like how all of you are moaning and groaning about the Christians. Interestingly enough, I like TED, and I'm a Christian. And I'm a chick! Whoa! (Sarcasm implied) Bitchiness aside, I like Sarah Kay's piece the best. She's a spoken word poet, who has a good story to tell. I'd like if they had an author or two (unless they do, then I want to know who they have) because that's the story I want to hear as well.
  • Sagan 2013/03/06 01:05:08
    The demographics who tend to be the most conservative are bias towards Atheists, and dislike progress? Who does this surprise?
  • Spence 2013/03/05 18:52:42
    Christians don't buy into an event that annually promotes new ideas? Shocker. I find the statistic on women interesting, though. After living in male-driven worlds for so long, I'd think they'd be all for new ideas.
  • Michaelene 2013/03/05 12:33:33
    I have watched several TED talks. Overhyped yes, informational yes, optional completely.

    Than again I think all inspirational speakers are overhyped and over paid, I know, I've done it myself.
  • Idiot repubs 2013/03/04 21:25:52
    Idiot repubs
    Sodahead luddites find TED talks too informational.

    There, I fixed the title.
  • Pug For Huck 2013/03/04 16:17:53
    Pug For Huck
    They are extremely hyped. I'm not seeing a difference between this and a think tank. Just more production value and glitter.
  • Tylurr 2013/03/04 11:46:48
    These statistics are probably the least unexpected thing I've seen in weeks, as sad as that is to say.
  • Anarimus 2013/03/04 06:35:17
    TED Talks are pretty interesting i do however prefer TSN (The Science Network) which is a tribute to Carl Sagan. It's a .org that posts various scientists discussing everything from the beauty and wonder of the cosmos to how science can explain things most people don't think it can like the origin of morals for example. Neil DeGrasse Tyson did his wonderful "The Parameter of Ignorance" lecture at the Beyond Belief conference.
  • JCLadybug 2013/03/04 05:35:28 (edited)
    Ha ha...well I'm a Christian woman, yet I find them relevant. Why am I always the exception?

    One of my favorites (although I knew about this before these talks, it isn't my area, but Whiteside is a person to follow in the literature). This is relevant to all and he is a great speaker, definitely worth watching: http://www.ted.com/talks/geor...
  • David H... JCLadybug 2013/03/05 07:32:45
    David Hussey
    Maybe you are exceptional!
  • JCLadybug David H... 2013/03/05 18:30:32
    I'd like to believe so, but I know I'm not. I just keep trying to do better in my work and maybe it will help people one day (bio-organic chemistry).
  • David H... JCLadybug 2013/03/06 01:27:00
    David Hussey
    Everybody is exceptional, or at least has the potential to be.
  • Grammar Freak 2013/03/04 00:29:33
    Grammar Freak
    Today's was on people with mental illness.
    It was excellent.
  • Christopher_Robin 2013/03/03 16:06:39
    I don't think many people here know TED
  • philldclarke 2013/03/03 13:06:13
  • Grammar... philldc... 2013/03/04 00:31:26
    Grammar Freak
    Haven't seen ya in a while.
    Good to see you're still around.
  • philldc... Grammar... 2013/03/04 13:03:44
  • Grammar... philldc... 2013/03/05 00:37:22
    Grammar Freak
    Good for you!
    I think I'm near the point I might need another break for a while too.
    See ya around,
  • philldc... Grammar... 2013/03/05 00:47:13
  • shadow76 2013/03/03 13:03:01
    It is probably the same people brainwashed by Owebama.
  • convex shadow76 2013/03/03 18:54:26
    Or just people who don't celebrate ignorance.
  • hasher 2013/03/03 12:54:18
    some christians are backwards thinkers. im not one of them we need science and the more technology the better as far as im concerned. i dont see what the big deal is.
  • J.MaisOui 2013/03/03 06:22:17
  • Wyo Guard Soldier 2013/03/03 05:38:32
    Wyo Guard Soldier
  • VICTORIA 2013/03/03 05:11:26
    I'm embarrassed, but not surprised at the insecure stupidity of women my age who fear ideas. Why is this site singling out Christians as examples of te anti-science and ignorant crowd?

    I adore TED talks. They're always mind expanding thought provoking and brilliant.

    I just don't find that on sodahead- which explains my year long absence.
  • Joe 2013/03/03 04:58:41
    Most women think TED is too hyped because most women that voted on this have no idea what TED is, nor do they care---they just wanted to vote on a poll because they were bored. The other thing is how many women (statistically) on this site even care about what TED talks are about anyways when there's so many Kardashian polls to choose from?! "Omg, Becky!"
  • shadow76 Joe 2013/03/03 13:05:32
    Woman Hater much?
  • Joe shadow76 2013/03/04 06:47:22
    Not at all. Judging by the type of polls that are on this site, it makes perfect sense. If you don't think they're hyped up, congratulations, you have no reason to be mad because you're not included in that demographic that I mentioned.
  • Joe shadow76 2013/03/04 06:55:07
    No, you obviously didn't read into my comment and/or qualify in the demographic I was talking about. Or you aren't in that demographic, in which case why are you mad because you're not part of the demographic?
  • shadow76 Joe 2013/03/08 07:25:26
    I am not mad. just disgusted by TED & Kardashians and generaliztions!
  • Joe shadow76 2013/03/08 15:22:47
    It is SodaHead...there are tons of Kardashian polls, sadly. Don't take it too harshly, you're obviously above the generalizations :-).
  • shadow76 Joe 2013/03/08 17:47:50
    Ignore them if you don't care.
  • Joe shadow76 2013/03/10 17:27:17
    Oh, I just can't, they're like kryptonite!
  • shadow76 Joe 2013/03/10 19:17:35
    I don't like that crap so I don't watch it. I watch the things I like On Demand and ignore what looks like junk and low class crap!
  • Joe shadow76 2013/03/11 04:53:51
    I don't watch it either. I hardly go near my own TV, and it's a nice one---if that tells you what kind of crap is on TV now-a-days...
  • shadow76 Joe 2013/03/12 01:32:53
    Even their trailors are repulsive too!
  • Joe shadow76 2013/03/12 03:16:20
    Absolutely! Did you see the SodaHead poll back a few months (maybe weeks, don't remember) about the T.V. shows with like custom made funerals, and a guy was getting buried in a BBQ pit basically? Er, a big smoker. Awful. America used to aspire to intelligence, but not anymore, and it's saddening.
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