Web vs. bed: choosing surfing over sex
Posted by James McPherson on December 16, 2008
A story this week suggests that, according to a Harris poll commissioned by Intel, many people would forgo sex before they’d give up the Internet.
The story, based on an Intel news release, says most people find the Internet to be essential to daily lives. A CNET poll cited in the same CNN story offers this odd note: “Results as of Monday from CNET’s related online poll showed that 30.5 percent of respondents would give up sex for one year, while 26.1 percent would do without Internet access for a year. Almost 40 percent of voters didn’t want to sacrifice either.” Given no restrictions as a choice, it’s less than half?
Does this mean–despite Fox News content on any given day–that we are less sex-crazed than Web-crazed (after all, another Harris poll shows that 80 percent of us now use the Internet)? Or that Internet porn has displaced real-life sex? Would this explain how an avatar affair can lead to divorce?
Probably none of the above. Though the titillating story made CNN’s front page and probably will get a lot of attention–and generate lots of discussion about Internet addiction, American priorities, etc.–the two surveys have several obvious flaws. The most obvious is that that both were conducted online.
In other words, those answering the questions were using the Internet at the time they answered. Probably none were having sex at the time they answered. We also don’t know how those people are using the Internet. As anyone with an inadequate pop-up blocker can testify, many are apparently going online for sexual content.
And we can’t tell how many of those who answered are already going long periods of time without sex. Those most involved with technology may be least inclined toward human interaction of all sorts, though it may be impossible to determine which leads to which.
Regardless, most of us with Internet access are plugging in multiple times per day, while even a good good sexual experience, according to yet another study, takes less time than does a meaningful Web search.
According to the CNN story, a fourth survey does suggest that giving away big-screen televisions could promote abstinance, at least in the short term. Perhaps not surprisingly, that was more true for men than for women. No word on whether that survey was conduct during football season.