A new and rather frightening study has found that nearly half of the nation's women would rather go without sex than give up their internet access.
46 percent of the women questioned in the Harris Interactive poll said they'd rather give up sex for two weeks than their internet connections, compared to only 30 percent of men. 49 percent of women aged 18-34 were willing to make the sacrifice in order to stay online, and the number actually rose above half, to 52 percent, among women aged 35 to 44.
Even more amazing than the willingness to forgo a good romp is the fact that fully 67 percent of U.S. adults aged 18-34 said they'd rather give up watching television for two weeks than do without the internet for one week. Of course, that's a bit of a cheat; the prevalence of television shows on the net has gone a long way toward rendering conventional television redundant anyway.
The results were part of a survey commissioned by Intel to determine "Internet Reliance in Today's Economy." Other interesting, if vaguely sad, numbers show that 65 percent of adults "feel they cannot live without internet access," and that it is "indispensable" compared to other discretionary expenses like cable television service, dining out and gym memberships. 84 percent said they were able to save money by comparing prices, finding coupons or special promotions or just shopping online, and 91 percent claimed that the internet has improved at least one aspect of their lives, such as the ability to stay in touch with family and friends or better management of finances through online banking.
It's good to see that the 'net is having a positive effect on people's lives, and by extension on society in general, but is it possible we're going too far? I'm obviously not going to be the one to sound the Luddite Alarm, but I wonder sometimes if pervasive 'net access is actually supplanting certain aspects of our lives rather than enhancing them. I like to think that despite the number of hours I spent online, I'm sufficiently on top of things to know when to take a break. An even better barometer: Two weeks of no sex and I can get downright surly.
The online survey questioned 2119 adults in the U.S., and while I don't know what a "probability sample" is I can tell you that they didn't use one, and therefore "no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated." In other words: This is sex and internet, so don't take it too seriously.
Intel's full report on the "Internet Reliance in Today's Economy" survey can be read here.