What would you do to stay online?
A survey taken by AT&T shows that most Americans give more value to internet connections than they do to a finger, a human life, a cure for cancer, and love.
We’ve all heard the term, “I’d cut off my left arm,” as way to express how much we want something or love something. Other body parts come to mind, but few of us are serious about actually hacking off a piece of ourselves, are we? Last month, AT&T conducted a survey in which they asked over 2,000 people what they’d give up to stay connected to the internet and the answers where pretty disturbing.
It’s important to note that the survey wasn’t necessarily scientific and more for fun. It didn’t account for race, income or location within the country and can’t really represent American’s as a whole. That said, the responses were interesting and might make one wonder if we’ve entered a new era of civilization that should concern us.
A third of respondents said they would sacrifice a finger rather than lose access to the internet. Which finger they would be willing lose wasn’t specified; but, considering that 15 percent of respondents said they would give up human interaction rather than lose connectivity, one can assume that the middle finger wouldn’t be of much use. Another third said they would be willing to lose their sense of taste, so forget about surfing adult sites, drinking Mountain Dew and eating Cheetos.
One of the more frightening responses was that 20 percent of the people surveyed said that they would give up love. Yes, love. That’s bad news for Tinder, Match.com, and adult entertainment depending on what your definition of love is.
It gets worse.
Over half of the people in the survey said they would allow a stranger to die before losing their connection to the internet. And a pathetic 35 percent said they would give up the internet if it cured cancer.
Take a look around you and think about that. Think of ten people in your life right now and consider that five of them consider internet access more important that a human life and six, or possibly seven of them couldn’t bear to give up Facebook, even if it meant curing the world of a disease that claimed 589,430 lives last year alone.
Not surprisingly men were more willing to give up a body part (at least a finger) or their morality than women were, and the younger the person the more value they placed on connectivity.
If that’s not enough to shake your confidence in humanity or human intelligence, a similar survey was conducted in 2013 found that 85 percent of people surveyed would do without water rather than give up mobile apps.
According to an article in Huffington Post, “The researchers polled people from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but their findings aren’t nationally representative, according to a company spokesperson, so it’s impossible to tell whether the results reflect the opinions of Americans as a whole.”
I’m not sure what this says about our society as a whole, but just looking around me right now it’s pretty safe to say that if I were choking on a chicken bone, there’s a good chance that most of the people around me wouldn’t bother to look up from their phones and the ones that did would be posting the video of my death on Facebook.