Internet more important to Americans during drought than alien invasion (but only just)

Technically Incorrect: A survey that wondered how important an internet connection is during a troubling situation turns up some strange characteristics about Americans.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

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What good will the internet do when these people come to town?

DmPranksProductions/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Companies are constantly asking Americans what they think of one thing or another.

On somber days, I fear it's the same few thousand Americans replying to every survey.

After awhile, they're just having some fun really.

This thought is exacerbated by a survey that's exclusively just invaded my laptop.

Some 2,047 American adults were asked about disasters.

During what sort of disasters did the respondents think it was most important to have an internet connection was the theme.

Naturally, 75 percent said it was vital to have an internet connection during a terrorist attack, while 68 percent mentioned an earthquake or a tornado.

But I scanned to the nether depths of this survey and shivered.

Almost the same number thought the internet vital during a drought (30 percent) or a famine (28 percent) as during an alien invasion (26 percent) or a Zombie Apocalypse (25 percent).

Who, you might imagine, would be behind such a survey? It was fielded between August 24 and 26 on behalf of a company called Cambium Networks.

Stunningly, this claims to be "a leading global provider of trusted wireless solutions that connect the unconnected -- people, places and things."

I'm not sure whether "things" includes zombies. I am sure, however, that Americans have some issues currently.

If you seriously equate a drought or famine to an alien invasion or a Zombie Apocalypse, then you've clearly been watching too many of the wrong movies and not enough of the right news programs.

Drought is a severe issue in California and other states. Famine might not be here quite yet, but it's still slightly more realistic a prospect that the coming of aliens or zombies.

Worse, as I delved into the darkest numbers of this survey, I noticed that 34 percent of those in America's west believed an alien invasion desperately needed an internet connection.

It was the more earthbound east coast that brought the number back down a little.

One more little thought entered what's left of my mind.

If aliens or zombies came upon us, I fear that an internet connection would be entirely useless. We would surely be painfully powerless in the face of something beyond our scope and understanding.

I feel sure that our two presidential candidates will debate this survey as furiously as they've debated everything else so far.

Personally, I can't wait to hear what our candidates would do during an alien invasion.

I fancy that Hillary Clinton would try to send a few emails to her generals, while Donald Trump would stand atop his tower and simply order the aliens to go back home.