In this article we’ll try to take ourselves less seriously and we’ll do it by analyz erred to as “The Internet Economy in the G-20” carried out by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
We would like to think that the research we take the cue from is absolutely reliable, both for methods and contents, in fact, it will provide us interesting ideas on the connection between real economy and internet in the first 20 industrialized countries, data which we’ll analyse in the next articles. But there is an aspect, funny and at the same time sociologically significant, that just leap out at us.
One of the questions posed by the research is: “What would you give up from your lifestyle habits for one year of the Internet?” (Percentage of people willing to give up a key lifestyle habit instead of the Internet for a year).
To each person interviewed it was asked his own willingness to give up on “this or that” key habit in order to keep an internet connection and to each of them 9 options were provided as answer.
The results are absolutely amazing, let’s see them nation by nation:
In Brazil almost all the interviewees would give up their GPS, of course they have the smart phones with built-in GPS receivers!!! But it was really unexpected, at least in intent, how 76% of the Brazilians would give up alcohol! Is it possible to consider internet as deterrent for loneliness and alcoholism? Who knows??? What also surprises me is that more than half of the interviewees would give up coffee and chocolate (in Brazil!?). While probably the percentages, however remarkable, of the interviewees who would give up sex and taking a shower are purely theoretical. It is about those internet users who most probably don’t have a partner and therefore don’t express a true renunciation (maybe they don’t have a partner because they never take a shower?).
In China, the results are really unbelievable; the use of internet seems very deep-rooted, therefore the percentages are very significant. All the daily activities (motor, personal, intimate, of hygiene,…) are set-aside in order to keep on being connected online. It seems that for a great part of the Chinese interviewees, the real world has a secondary role compared to the web.
The sensitivity that the Chinese have to internet is absolutely amazing; it is perhaps justified by the desire to communicate with others and to be informed, considering also the bad relation between the Chinese government and the information, and consequently, with Internet and the search engines since time immemorial.
In this case too, we find very high percentages of internet users who would give up showering for an entire year. According to the statistics there are over 500 million Chinese… a choice that would damage the entire terrestrial ecosystem.
The French turn out to be more virtuous, the answers are in line with what we have seen in Brazil, with a (positive) difference regarding the renounce of the showering and a negative one regarding the alcohol. In essence, it is confirmed the great willingness of giving up something just to remain connected to internet.
The Germans love Internet and we are sure of it, how else do we explain the fact that the 77% of them would give up beer for one year of internet?
Having analysed the first four countries, we can identify the first interesting common indicators. One of them is definitely the car, whose connection with internet is almost constant in Brazil, France, Germany, (24,23,23), the other one is the giving up sex (12,16,16).
In India the results are a little bit different from the previous ones, maybe because India is divided into two parts as far as the use of Internet. Lots of people would never stay away from Internet, but at the same time (around) 30% of Indians don’t even use it. Comparing to the previous surveys, the gap between the actions to which they would gladly give up and the others “indispensable”, is undoubtedly reduced.
India doesn’t have the stratospheric indicators of China, but it is not so far away from it, many Indians challenge aspects of their daily life. We find significant percentages also regarding the habits apparently indispensable.
Still with the intent of evaluating the spread and use of Internet around the countries different from ours, we reach Japan where the use of Internet is very deep-rooted, as the huge numbers confirm, almost unanimous for the first items of the list, chocolate inclusive, likewise the other important numbers for the “secondary” habits such as coffee, alcohol, gymnastic exercises.
From this analysis, it seems that the Japanese are much more dedicated to the virtual social relationships than to the real ones, 56% of them, which means the majority, would give up sex in order to stay connected online. Obviously the web provides them tools of social and relational gratification, equal if not superior to those available in the real world; this is the symptom of a social and personal isolation, of a very introverted society.
The only exception is the shower. We all know that an invigorating and relaxing bath at the end of the day is in the Japanese tradition. We are standing at one of the few cases in which traditions (and necessity) outweigh innovation.
The data of South Korea are not so dissimilar from those Japanese with some exceptions. It seems that the Koreans, just like the Japanese, don’t love chocolate while, according to these data, they appear to be more passionate (and less inclinable to take a shower) than the Japanese.
With the aim of giving you global and exhaustive information we move to another continent, in South Africa, whose percentages are practically the same as the European ones, with an unexpected exception, and that is the car, to which the interviewees don’t intend to give up. A people of internet users and drivers…
We find high percentages in Great Britain as well and for the first time is exceeded the 90% limit, not so much for the fondness towards internet but for the disaffection toward fast eating proposed by the fast foods. The people of her majesty do not like the fast foods, not even a bit.
Comparing to the answers given by the European neighbors, two are the indices out of standard, the 65% of alcohol renouncement (against the 77% of the Germans) and 25% who would give up sex (against the 16% of Germans and French).
Besides the emergent role of internet in the lives of the people across the planet, also emerge the everyday habits, the different traditions and customs of all the latitudes.
To cap it all, the United States of America, whose answers are fundamentally in line with those European, with a slight show of affection towards their cars and personal hygiene.
The picture that emerges is extremely coherent, internet is globalizing us, people of different cultures, traditions and languages show their passion for the cyberspace, declaring it inalienable, not even in exchange for some important activities of their daily habits. In some cases is almost reached the paradox, the virtual world with its own intangible, I would say “differently real” offer of relationships and virtual emotions, becomes the first choice.
Of course, it’s only a survey, therefore it is recommended to separate the declarations of the intents from our real actions, but the numbers are clear, there is a precise, similar, perception of internet in our life regardless who we are and where we are.
Upsetting our perspective, if we examine the percentages we notice that fortunately the real world still play the main role, even more so we remember that this is about intentions of giving up and not of real renouncements.
We hope that the majority of people will not lose at least some of the healthy and necessary daily habits such as showering.
In thanking the BCG for the contents examined in detail published online, we remind you that WorldTwoDotZero is only a game, a web walk to take together, it doesn’t have any commercial purpose.