Wi-Fi Seen as Important Part of Relationships

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)

  • 2real
    you don't need wifi to maintain a relationship pick up the god damn phone and call the person
  • mister g
    You know most people would prefer texting, even if they're right next to each other on smartphones!
  • sabot00
    Or have a 1-nighter.
  • JamesSneed
  • Supertrek32
    I could see this being said about internet access, but wifi? Nah
  • gorillateets
    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.
  • chodaboy
    I'd rather plug in my utp then miss my morning coffee...
  • wribbs
    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.
  • power hungry
    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.
  • toastninja17
    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).