Would you happily lose your pillow before the cloud? You’re not alone. According to a new survey, nearly 50% of Americans would give up their bed before their TV and computer. That’s something to keep in mind as the FCC rules about the future of the Net today.
Ipsos Public Affairs just completed the survey for Aaron’s Inc, quizzing over 1,000 adults about their preference: “Which would you give up last: Your bed, your computer or your TV?” While such simplistic surveys are sometimes susceptible to delivering misleading results, the data from this study is impressively polarized: 58% of respondents said they’d give up their bed last, 28% said their computer was the most important, and 14% said they’d chose their TV over their computer or bed. The preference for computers was most obvious in the under 35-year-old group, with 35% of folks stating their computer was the most important possession. Non-married responders were also more likely to value their computer highly, compared to married men and women.
Aaron’s has a vested interest in this data, of course–it’s the nation’s “leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories” so it would like to know where people’s possession preferences lie. But the data still has one big take-away: Close to half of all Americans, (well, 42%), if the data is representative, value their TV and computer more than their bed. And the TV, once the most prized of entertainment possessions, is now playing second fiddle to the computer.
The computer is becoming the entertainment center for many people’s lives–boosted by ever more sophisticated gaming, the rise of Net TV, and the fact that everyone’s music collection is now typically stored on their PC or Mac. Computers are also vital if you’re in school or college, and if you want to work from home. The hidden tech behind this, not mentioned in Aaron’s survey, is the Net–a computer that’s not connected to the Intertubes nowadays is pretty much useless.
Combined with what we know about the rapid explosion of the smartphone market, and the closely allied tablet PC market–both of which rely on mobile data to work–this makes the FCC’s vote on Net Neutrality even more important than you may think. If so many hundreds of millions of lives, in the U.S. alone, have Net reliance at their core for work, rest and play, then how ISPs are permitted to shape their Net content delivery systems is incredibly crucial to the development of American lifestyles. Sleep on that.
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