In Maslow’s classic hierarchy of needs, after the most basic and primal are taken care of, friendship, family and sexual intimacy are foremost on our minds. It looks as though the internet may soon be joining the group – if not replacing it – if a recent Intel-commissioned survey is anything to go by.
When asked ‘Would you choose the internet over sex?’, a surprising 30pc of men responded ‘yes’, while an astonishing 46pc of women also said yes. Two weeks without internet access proved to be less appealing than two weeks without sex.
Drilling down further, it was found that for women aged 35-44 the figure was 52pc, while for men aged 18-34 it was 39pc.
While the figures for these age groups were significantly higher than the average for their gender, ironically, these are the ages at which men and women reach their sexual peak.
So what is all this telling us about staying connected to the internet, what this means to us and modern-day priorities?
Well, it tells us that the internet means everything to us, literally, because 65pc of adults felt they could not live without internet access! For 71pc, web access at the desktop is not good enough – internet-connected mobile devices, laptops and/or netbooks were rated as important or very important.
Apart from sex, the biggest concern for most adults is money, and the internet is vital, it seems, to both keeping up to date with the economy and managing our financial affairs.
In the context of the current economic climate, some 95pc of respondents said internet access was very important, important or somewhat important to stay informed, while 84pc said they have saved money by browsing the web for price comparisons before making purchasing decisions.
And how do other ‘extras’ rate? With 65pc of adults admitting that life without the web was unbearable, only 39pc in comparison felt the same way about cable TV, while a mere 18pc said they couldn’t live without clothes shopping. (The scale was rated from 1 to 5 where 1 represented ‘completely expendable’ and 5 meant ‘cannot live without’.)
TV certainly is beginning to rate lower on our list of priorities – some 58pc of adults across the board said they would give up watching television for two weeks rather than the internet.
Frankly, this writer is not surprised. After all, the internet is communication for all, news for most, TV for many and sex for some.
By Marie Boran