2,000 people were asked which daily essentials and luxuries they would be prepared to sacrifice in order to stay online and the results are positively wacky.
More than a third (34%) said they would rather live without central heating than the Internet, 14% would prefer give up their mains water supply, while a staggering 34% said they’d be happy to lop off a finger.
And almost one in five (19%) said they would go without baths, showers or washing of any kind for the rest of their lives so long as they could stay online.
Demographically, three-quarters (75%) of women would be prepared to go teetotal, whereas only 61% of men would be inclined to do same. However, men were slightly more willing than women to give up treat foods, with 66% of men and 64% of women saying they would forgo chocolates and other treats in order to retain an online presence.
18 to 24-year-olds were more prepared to cut out alcohol in order to stay online than those in their parents’ age group. 73% of would opt to stay sober, compared to 65% of 45 to 54-year-olds.
On average, respondents in the North East were most willing to make sacrifices in order keep the Internet (42% across all of the options given), closely followed by those in the North West (41%).
Londoners and those living in the North East were most likely to choose access to the worldwide web over the ability to venture beyond their own doorstep, with 31% of respondents in both locations preferring to stay at home, but online.
Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Ofcom-accredited broadband advice site Cable.co.uk who commissioned the survey, said: “Well, that’s easy to say, isn’t it? Clearly, some have not thought this properly through.
“For example, it’s easier to say you’d be okay with one less finger than it is to offer your hand to a chap with a hacksaw. And it’s easier to answer ‘I’d rather never wash again’ than it is to live day to day with a nickname like ‘Stinky Samantha’ or ‘Throw-up John’, or to be repeatedly ejected from public places.
“Nevertheless, what these results do show is that, for many, the internet is as essential as some of the most fundamental needs a human being has. Or at least, people think it is.”