Medically speaking a human can go without water for about a week but a recent survey of 1000 London commuters found that 27% of them could not go more than a couple of days without Internet.
The survey results found that people said they would be far more stressed by not having Internet access than if their central heating failed, their TVs died or they didn’t have drinking water. Unbelievable.
Conducted for Infosecurity Europe, a major forthcoming exhibition that will be staged in London, the survey set out to find how critical the Internet is to the average householder. They found that 38% would be most stressed-out by not having Internet access at home followed by 32% not having water, 18% not having heating with 8% being somewhat stressed by no TV and 4% no washing machine.
When asked how long they could cope without Internet access at home, 27% said they didn’t think they’d be able to cope at all with web failure, 25% could not last longer than 24 hours and 29% would seriously be in trouble if they didn’t have it after a few days. Only 4% saying they do not need it at all.
An overall conclusion from the survey suggests that people have become more reliant than ever on the Internet. In 2012 17% said they just couldn’t live without any Internet connection, however this has risen to 27% in 2013.
Workplace Internet is of course a given these days and forms an essential part of the majority of company operations and so when asked about office Internet failing the surveyed commuters had a different reaction with a few saying they would be more stressed about being late for work or if there were no tea or coffee facilities at work.
Industry surveys may show that IT system failures for major global companies can cost as much as $50K per hour yet an Internet failure in the workplace seems to have far less impact emotionally on employees but you couldn't say the same about company bosses and their shareholders.
Back to the apparently dehydration-happy commuters of London, the survey may well have come up with some astonishing results about people's reaction to Internet deprivation but I think the survey answers are a lot do with the life-style perceptions of big city dwellers. So the TV or washing machine fails, annoying but not insurmountable, call the repair man or buy a new one, and when it comes to water none of us have ever really been seriously threatened by lack of availability. But the survey does provide an indication about how distressing Internet failure at home can be, even more disturbing than the traditional irritation of the car not starting.