So, are you and the Internet a thing?

New survey on Internet attitudes says nearly a quarter of Americans believe the Internet could take the place of a partner for a time.

If only the Internet had been around to comfort Rear Window's Miss Lonelyhearts back in 1954.

A new poll shows that nearly 1 in 4 Americans say the Internet could be a stand-in for a significant other for a period of time. Among singles, the percentage was even higher: 31 percent. (One wonders how popular such responses as "reading a good book" or "playing with my cats" were to the question of substitutes.)

The poll examined people's attitudes about the Internet. Results of the online survey, conducted by Zogby International and 463 Communications, were released Wednesday.

The survey also found that there are people willing to have a device implanted in their brain--safely, of course--so they'd have ready access to the Internet. About 11 percent of respondents said so. But more men (17 percent) than women (7 percent) did. (Just think, you could impress many a date and your trivia team would win every week. Although when the suitably impressed person becomes a steady thing, the Internet might get jealous.)

Other tidbits from the results:

•  To help keep track of children's whereabouts, nearly 1 in 5 respondents said they would be willing to have a chip implanted in a child 13 or younger.

•  Among the 18- to 24-year-old set, 78 percent said they have a social-networking profile. More Democrats (32 percent) than Republicans (22 percent) said they have a presence on a social-networking site.

•  When it comes to spirituality, 10 percent said the Internet made them closer to God, but 6 percent said it made them more distant.

•  The self-esteem of Hollywood hotties is safe for now. Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson and Patrick Dempsey are considered sexier than the iPhone, according to the poll. Respondents were asked who or what was sexier. Berry came in at 27 percent, Johansson had 17 percent and Dempsey got 14 percent. The iPhone tied with Derek Jeter at 6 percent. It doesn't appear that respondents were asked whether owning an iPhone--or simply wearing the iPhone hat--increases one's appeal. (This is just a guess: the people who consider the iPhone sexier than any of the people above probably believe that the Internet could be a substitute for a partner.)

The survey, conducted October 4 through 8, tallied the responses of 9,743 adults across the country. It has a margin of error plus or minus 1 percentage point.

(via Reuters)
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About the author

Anne Dujmovic is an associate editor at CNET News. After working more than a dozen years in newspapers, including a seven-year stint at the San Jose Mercury News, Anne migrated north to Portland, Ore. There, she honed her pastry-making skills as an apprentice. Although she's returned to journalism, she still misses the free pastries. E-mail Anne.

 

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