One third would sacrifice a finger for the Internet

08 May 2017  |  Ellen Hammett 
One third would sacrifice a finger for the Internet

Would you chop off one of your digits to stay online? According to new research, 34% of UK adults would rather lose a finger than their connection to the Internet, while the same number said they would rather live without heating.

Meanwhile, 14% said they would rather give up their mains water supply - and almost one in five (19%) said they would forgo baths, showers or washing of any kind for the rest of their lives.


The research, carried out by, quizzed 2,000 Brits about which daily essentials and luxuries they would be prepared to sacrifice in order to stay online.

Good hygiene, warmth, alcohol and seeing friends and family in person were just a few of the things people are apparently happy to give up.

Perhaps surprisingly, 18 to 24-year-olds (73%) are more willing to give up booze than those in the 45-54 age group (65%), while 75% of women said they would be prepared to go teetotal compared to 61% of men.

Meanwhile, 64% of women said they would rather live without 'treat foods' such as chocolate compared to 66% of men.

23% would rather never see their family or friends in person again.

On average, respondents in the North East were most willing to make sacrifices in order keep the Internet (42% across all of the options given), closely followed by those in the North West (41%).

Londoners and those living in the North East were most likely to choose access to the web over being able to leave their house, with 31% of respondents in both locations preferring to stay at home, but online.

But Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, doesn't think respondents have necessarily thought their answers through properly.

"For example, it's easier to say you'd be okay with one less finger than it is to offer your hand to a chap with a hacksaw," he said.

"And it's easier to answer 'I'd rather never wash again' than it is to live day to day with a nickname like 'Stinky Samantha' or 'Throw-up John', or to be repeatedly ejected from public places.

"Nevertheless, what these results do show is that, for many, the internet is as essential as some of the most fundamental needs a human being has. Or at least, people think it is."


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