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Wi-Fi Seen as Important Part of Relationships

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 38 comments
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Which would you rather give up, Wi-Fi or coffee?

The internet has changed a lot of things. Whether it's the social networking craze that allows people to stay in touch with relatives in Timbuktu, or the fact that people like me can make a living writing for a tech website and not even have to leave the house, it's safe to say the internet has made a significant impact on many of our lives. In fact, it seems the internet has become so important to people, we would find it difficult to maintain relationships if we didn't have Wi-Fi. With the popularity of mobile devices and laptops, more internet-capable machines connect through Wi-Fi rather than the traditional cabled connection.

According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the Wi-Fi Alliance, 64 percent of U.S. respondents and 89 percent of Chinese respondent said it would be nearly impossible to maintain relationships with many friends without Wi-Fi; a further 44 percent of American respondents and 82 percent of Chinese respondents said the same applies to family relationships.

The survey was based on information provided by 1,000 U.S. millennials (respondents ages 17 to 29) and 400 millennials in China, Japan and Korea. Two thirds of U.S. respondents and four fifths of those in China said they now spend more time on Wi-Fi than watching telly. Almost 70 percent of respondents spend more than four hours on Wi-Fi each day.

"These polling results are a strong reflection of both the social and technological orientation of young adults around the world today," commented Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates. "Interactive digital devices are fundamental to how millennials spend their time and connect with family and friends, and have become more important than older, more passive forms of entertainment like television."

Further evidence of how much value people place on Wi-Fi comes in the form of 75 percent of U.S. respondents admitting they'd be more grumpy if they had to go a week without Wi-Fi than if they had to spend a week without coffee.

How important is Wi-Fi to you? Do you find it plays an important role in your maintaining relationships? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more on the results of the survey here.

Source: WiFi Alliance (via HotHardware)

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    2real , September 29, 2010 2:48 AM
    you don't need wifi to maintain a relationship pick up the god damn phone and call the person
  • 17 Hide
    Supertrek32 , September 29, 2010 3:03 AM
    I could see this being said about internet access, but wifi? Nah
  • 14 Hide
    JamesSneed , September 29, 2010 3:00 AM
    wtf?
Other Comments
    Display all 38 comments.
  • 24 Hide
    2real , September 29, 2010 2:48 AM
    you don't need wifi to maintain a relationship pick up the god damn phone and call the person
  • 12 Hide
    mister g , September 29, 2010 2:50 AM
    You know most people would prefer texting, even if they're right next to each other on smartphones!
  • 7 Hide
    sabot00 , September 29, 2010 2:51 AM
    Or have a 1-nighter.
  • 14 Hide
    JamesSneed , September 29, 2010 3:00 AM
    wtf?
  • 17 Hide
    Supertrek32 , September 29, 2010 3:03 AM
    I could see this being said about internet access, but wifi? Nah
  • 4 Hide
    gorillateets , September 29, 2010 3:31 AM
    Wifi CAN be important, but remember when we didn't have wifi? Yeah, you actually had to sit at this thing called a DESKTOP that sits upon a desk. I use my 3G phone to communicate with anyone if it's that desperate. I rarely use wifi. Relationships? Really? What??? Who cares. Call the person if you want to stay in touch. I prefer my LAN line over any crappy wifi. As supertrek said, texting works just fine too.
  • 6 Hide
    chodaboy , September 29, 2010 4:29 AM
    I'd rather plug in my utp then miss my morning coffee...
  • 0 Hide
    wribbs , September 29, 2010 5:21 AM
    While I am a "millennial" and use WIFI more than four hours daily, these findings are ridiculous. It would hardly, if at all, effect any of my relationships in any meaningful way if there wasn't WIFI. You could even take away the internet and cell phones and it still would only minimally effect my relationships with friends family. I could make do with seeing them in person and an occasional call from a wired phone if I had to. Now if I had to do without even a wired phone things would get difficult. I don't drink coffee.
  • 0 Hide
    power hungry , September 29, 2010 5:53 AM
    For some of us Wi-Fi is a necessity. I work in the mining and oil and gas sector and spend much of my time working hundreds or thousands of miles away from home and Wi-Fi devices are my preferred method of communication. It is a lot more expensive to call people long distance on a cell phone then it is to use a Wi-Fi device. However, the loss of Wi-Fi would certainly not cripple my relationships with family and friends, but it would make it a lot less convenient.
  • 0 Hide
    toastninja17 , September 29, 2010 6:44 AM
    Maintaining relationships? Not really, honestly. I use Wi-Fi the most when I'm at home using my laptop or iPhone, or out somewhere and I have access to unsecured networks on my phone. And when there's no Wi-Fi around and I've got my phone, I just use 3G, which is pretty fast with about 3 bars, given the area I'm in has fast 3G (yes, I've been to many areas that give me full 3G but painful speeds). I can text any of my friends from that, or go on facebook for iPhone or the full site if I need to. Wi-Fi in MY life isn't necessary for maintaining personal relationships. Besides, our power went out today (some jerk in the neighborhood hit a power box and knocked out a solid portion of my town's grid), and low and behold, no electricity = no Wi-Fi, which is when I resorted to my 3G service. Wi-Fi is crucial to me in computing though, because I have a laptop and 99.9% of the time I'm connected via our wireless network. Also, referring to the first couple comments, I definitely agree with that. I've got no problem whatsoever dialing anyone I need to get a hold of, and leaving a message if they don't pick up. That's faster sometimes, too. I personally believe that 3G or EDGE is more crucial to relationships because that is the very signal that gives our phones today their true wireless life. Wi-Fi is really just a different breed, kind of. It's wireless networking, pure and simple. It's something we take for granted, (most) of us don't have it everywhere we go. To answer the initial question, Wi-Fi IS important to me, it's a very nice privilege, but not in terms of maintaining relationships (btw I see my friends more in person that I do online).
  • 0 Hide
    toastninja17 , September 29, 2010 6:49 AM
    supertrek32I could see this being said about internet access, but wifi? Nah


    Yeah, pretty much the only thing I can think of.
  • 1 Hide
    whiplash75 , September 29, 2010 7:01 AM
    If not being able to communicate via Wi-Fi would seriously affect a relationship, then it probably isn't much of a relationship to begin with!
  • 6 Hide
    mrmez , September 29, 2010 7:20 AM
    2realyou don't need wifi to maintain a relationship pick up the god damn phone and call the person


    Even crazier, you can actually talk to someone face to face!!!
    I know, its NUTS!

    Im sure they will have an app for that soon.
  • 0 Hide
    toastninja17 , September 29, 2010 7:34 AM
    mrmezEven crazier, you can actually talk to someone face to face!!!I know, its NUTS!Im sure they will have an app for that soon.

    +1 internets to you, sir.
  • 0 Hide
    mirazh1976 , September 29, 2010 7:40 AM
    I really believe that the meaning of relationships especially MEANINGFUL ones need to be looked upon again. It amazes me how little people ever share ANYTHING meaningful beyond words and call it something close or special.

    Superficial relationships are BS period. The drama that can unfold from them is endless and a waste of time.

    Time spent TOGETHER this is the KEY to a REAL MEANINGFUL relationship.
  • 0 Hide
    Travis Beane , September 29, 2010 7:56 AM
    mrmezEven crazier, you can actually talk to someone face to face!!!I know, its NUTS!Im sure they will have an app for that soon.

    How about when those who mean a lot to me live in a different city/country?

    I don't drink coffee (Witch! Witch! Burn him at the stake!), but I'm perfectly fine with going out when I can and using a phone. :D 
  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , September 29, 2010 8:52 AM
    Quote:
    According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the Wi-Fi Alliance

    We all know that the Wi-Fi Alliance is the most reliable source. In a way this is like Apple showing us research that proofs Apple computers are more desirable then generic pc's.

    Quote:
    The survey was based on information provided by 1,000 U.S. millennials (respondents ages 17 to 29) and 400 millennials in China, Japan and Korea.


    A lesson in statistics including some basic math 64% out of those 1000 that's 640 (1000/100*64)so this far we learned that they found 640 people that thinks wi-fi is that important however it does not tell us how many people where disqualified from the survey or how many did not find Wi-Fi that important and most important other then the age of the ones partaking in the survey we know nothing about them. Lets say those 1000 where asked to partake in the survey at their local computer retailer after buying a Wi-Fi router or adapter and made a chance of winning back the complete amount of their spending on the Wi-Fi router or adapter they just bought (its not uncommon to be able to win something in trade for taking part in a survey) now how many of those 640 would be capable of being objective?, add percentage "x" to those 1000 (where x could be a multitude of that 1000 really) and wonder what the statistics would look like if they where not excluded. I used to have a job over the summer years ago where i actually got payed to take surveys and go payed by the amount of surveys i got filled out not by the our or day.

    The above is fairly positive since the numbers would really start to inflate even more if you ask the right questions at student dorms that only have Wi-Fi connections (no LAN or room by room land lines specially in more remote areas).

    Statistics are a way to make your point and if you control the product the targeted audience and are the one that decides who to exclude you can pretty much end up with any number you like.

    Now for as far as the lesson in statistic goes we cant judge on these numbers without knowing the exact questions asked and the percentages scored per question and the number of people excluded and even then its for a huge part up to us to make a conclusion the bigger the the group of people that takes part in the survey the more reliable the outcome gets but statistics are marketing period.
  • 0 Hide
    blazeorangeman , September 29, 2010 11:31 AM
    In related news; computers are the new link for lawsuits claiming their the reason for obesity and not fast food
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2010 11:37 AM
    id rather give up wifi

    there is allways good old cat5
  • -1 Hide
    BluntObjection , September 29, 2010 11:43 AM
    mister gYou know most people would prefer texting, even if they're right next to each other on smartphones!


    Me and my roommates do this, rather than go to each other rooms.
    We only talk over xbox live mic, and when we scavenge for food in the kitchen.
    Both of us would rather have the coffee.
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