The Reuters new agency along with the Ipsos global independent market research company are not content with simply reporting the news, and they are now making news after conducting a recent poll asking respondents if they would choose to give up their mobile phone or give up their computer, if forced to choose between the two. The poll sampled nearly 20,000 adults from 25 different countries, and is considered accurate with a margin of error of just plus or minus 3.1 to 4.5 percentage points. The goal was to force people to choose between two important things, and see what conclusions it led to concerning values and priorities today.
The researchers found that 65% of the citizens in 25 countries would choose to give up their mobile phone if forced to choose between the phone and their computer. Just over one third (35%) said they would give up their computer, if forced to choose between the two. The poll also found that if forced to choose between social networking and television, 58% said they would give up social networking and just 42% said they would give up watching TV instead. The poll asked a surprising number of related questions including whether people would rather give up their mobile phones or sex. The answer to that query was that 78% of the respondents said they would give up their phones while just 22% would choose to give up sex.
The Ipsos poll also revealed significant differences in responses among people of different ages and sexes, with women and young people under age 25 being far less willing to give up using their cell phones. Choosing between the computer and theior phones, 40% of women said they would give up their computers first. The number of men who would do the same was only 31%. The numbers for people under 25 were about the same as those for the women, with just over 40% of younger people saying they would give up their computers in order to keep their phones.
The research backs up the notion that younger people put more priority on new technology in their lives and are more addicted to their cell phones. They are more likely to own advanced-capability smart phones, and the participation in social networking is much higher among the young demographic. It is interesting to note that the poll also uncovered similar variations in the results from the respondents in different countries. The numbers show that Canadians chose their computers over their phones by a margin of 80% to 20%, and that only 49% of Saudi Arabians would do the same. The numbers from South Africans were just about divided in half, with 52% choosing their computers over their phones. Surprisingly, the respondents in Great Britain and France were the most likely to choose watching television over using the computer for social networking. Conversely, people in China and Turkey were the least addicted to their televisions, and preferred the computer and social networking. The take-away from this recent poll seems to suggest that the results of choosing between giving up sex or phones reflected the presence of established cultural stereotypes of sexual progressiveness versus conservatism that varied according to the regions the respondents lived in.