UK Poll: Internet More Essential than Water

Dennis Faas's picture

Recently, the London Science Museum in the UK conducted a survey that asked 3,000 adults to consider the things that they could not live without on a day-to-day basis.

Such a question generally causes us to consider the things necessary to ensure our survival: food, clean water, shelter, etc. The results of this particular poll, however, are very surprising.

Technology: A Necessity or Luxury?

According to the survey, Brits consider "sunshine" as their most essential item of value. Surprisingly, however, the next item in line is not clean water or food, but an Internet connection.

The poll listed a total of 50 items, with the top ten (in order) as follows: Sunshine, Internet Connection, Clean Drinking Water, Fridge, Facebook, National Health Service (NHS), Stove, Email, Flushing Toilet and a Mobile Phone.

Surprisingly, Healthcare took a backseat to, and email access was listed ahead of a flushing toilet. (Source:

According to Sarah Richardson, Science Museum Exhibition Manager, "Brits are obsessed with the weather, so it is not surprising that sunshine was rated as the top thing that we could not live without. But to say that you cannot live without material things over drinking water is crazy."

Too Many Things Taken for Granted

The purpose of the survey was to help launch the Science Museum's latest exhibition: "Water Wars -- Fight the Food Crisis".

The exhibit considers a topic which is vastly becoming a growing concern worldwide: not having enough fresh water to grow crops and sustain a local (and in some cases, national) food bank. This is ironic, considering the fact that such a plentiful resource is quickly becoming a luxury for millions of people. (Source:

If the survey was meant to exploit the ways in which developed nations take many aspects of their lives for granted, consider it mission accomplished.

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