Technology & Science

Some Americans giving up friends, sex for internet: survey

One in five Americans say they're having less sex to spend more time on the internet, text messaging and similar technologies, a new survey suggests.

One in five Americans say they're having less sex to spend more time on the internet, text messaging and similar technologies, a new survey suggests.

Evenhigher ratios of U.S. adults are choosing digital technology over television and friends, while the majority say they could not go a week without being connected to the internet, according to the survey released Wednesday.

The survey of 1,011 American adults, conducted by advertising agency JWT, suggests Americans are becoming increasingly dependent on digital technology. It also suggests that the time spent using these tools is coming at the expense of other activities.

While slightly more than half (55 per cent) of the respondents said they could go without connecting online "for a few days," only about a fifth (18 per cent) said they could abstain for a week, the survey found.

Similarly 48 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: "If I cannot access the internet when I want to, I feel like something important is missing."

When asked how their online habits have affected other activities, almost half of respondents (47 per cent) said they spent less time watching television. More than a quarter (28 per cent) said they spent less time socializing face-to-face with friends, while one-fifth of respondents said they are having less sex.

The only activity a significant percentage of respondents said they now spend more time engaging in is work, the survey found, with 22 per cent saying new technologies have increased their workloads.

A separate survey also released on Wednesday suggests some people are spending more of their online time working on their hobbies.

According to the Pew Internet Life Project, the online hobby population has grown from 45 per cent of all American adults in 2005 to 59 per cent in February-March 2007. The online hobby population on any given day also rose from 12 per cent to 20 per cent.

The internet has also given rise to entirely new hobbies, the study said, noting the rise of multimedia diaries in the form of blogs and also the pastime of geocaching— a hide-and-seek type of game using an interactive website and GPS technology.

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