Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

The London Science Museum asked 3,000 adults what they couldn't live without. What does it mean when Facebook comes before washing machines?

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17 Answers

Dog's avatar

It means that these people have never really ever been WITHOUT those things.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

People are dirty? I think you’re underestimating what FB means to people. Sure, it’s ‘just the internet’ but if you use FB to build upon relationships you have in life and for checking in with friends and loved ones and for learning and expanding your mind (I get half of my articles that I teach to my students from my friends’ posts – the key is to have smart friends), then it is quite important. This isn’t about addiction or procrastination…people that do that will do that with anything, not just Facebook. It’s about how we interact with each other and if you had asked people decades ago (before the internet) what’s more important to them ‘interacting with friends’ or ‘washing machines/flushing toilet’ and they answered the latter, you’d think there was something wrong with them. Why do you not say this now just because the technology changed?

iphigeneia's avatar

It means that you can wash clothes by hand, but facebook provides such a unique service that it’s hard to replace. I’m not sure the people have properly considered what it means to live without a flushing toilet, though. In built up, urban areas, the alternatives are not altogether pleasant.

zensky's avatar

Ahhh youth.

Berserker's avatar

Technology ahoy, I guess. I mean, those people probably weren’t even thinking about their washing machines when answering this, since those, and many other things, are just totally normal. It’s like asking me if I could live without video games, but without considering not having a console to play them on. Or what could you not live with, speaking or singing; what about having lungs?
Er…okay that made no sense. Did it?

But I do find it kinda sad that Facebook was actually a choice/answer. Take the entire Internet away from me, and I might actually read books and draw things again. And I barely even go on FB.

yejepark's avatar

I think it means people really need attention of other people.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@yejepark Right? And the toilet flushing just doesn’t do it.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Ok, first, Daily Fail, so… yeah. Second, did they do the study by listing all these things, and telling the participants to rank them in order, or did they just call up and say “what would you say you couldn’t live without”, because then it doesn’t necessarily mean they actually put Facebook ahead of washing machines, it means they might have just stopped thinking of a washing machine as something they might loose, that it has become something they take for granted. And, given that “clean water” is only at #3, and fresh fruit and fresh vegetables are much further down the list, I’m kinda thinking it might be the second method. I mean, if you asked Americans what they couldn’t live without, most would probably not say “air/oxygen”, “clean water”, “nutritious food”, and “medicine”, just because that’s not how our dialogue currently works; our dialogue works by going “OMG, I literally do not know how I lived before Feminist Ryan Gosling”, because that’s how we give intense praise to something.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Aethelflaed that’s exactly what I was thinking.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here’s the list from the article:
#43 is push up bra. I wouldn’t take any stock in this “study”
1. Sunshine 2. Internet connection 3. Clean drinking water 4. Fridge 5. Facebook 6. NHS 7. Cooker 8. Email 9. Flushing toilet 10. Mobile phone / smartphone 11. Tea and Coffee 12. Washing machine 13. Shower 14. Central heating 15. Painkillers 16. Fresh vegetables 17. Vacuum Cleaner 18. Kettle 19. Sofa 20. Shoes 21. Fresh fruit 22. Google 23. Car 24. Hair straighteners 25. Public transport 26. Laptop 27. Chocolate 28. DVD Player 29. Wristwatch 30. Make-up 31. Flat screen TV 32. Wedding ring 33. Tumble dryer 34. Bottled water 35. Ebay 36. Bicycle 37. Ipod 38. Air conditioning 39. Disposable nappies 40. Light bulbs 41. Spell-check 42. Sat Nav 43. Push-up bra 44. Nintendo Wii 45. iPad 46. Gym Membership 47. Season ticket to your football club 48. Freezer 49. Xbox 50. Twitter

We all know the real #5 answer, after air, water, food, and internet, is Fluther

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yeah, I like that the article pointed out that Facebook is “more important” to people than a flushing toilet, but not that an internet connection is more important than clean drinking water.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It means market research is a complete waste of time. You would not believe how many companies go bust asking the general public what they want and then trying to give it to them.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@worriedguy Yeah, I mean, that ‘disposable nappies’ comes before ‘lightbulbs’ seems really off. It’s not so much that disposable diapers aren’t freaking awesome, but that artificial light is responsible for us not having to do all our work during daylight, for us having so many office jobs, etc (and, also, are an integral part of many things higher up on the list, like ‘cars’ and Facebook and computers). So, I’m thinking, The Daily Fail Strikes Again.

Ayesha's avatar

It means people have seriously messed up their priorities.

Blackberry's avatar

Thanks for the answers; they make more sense than what I was thinking lol.

bongo's avatar

I lived perfectly fine in madagascar without a flushing toilet or a washing machine. I would have found it very difficult to keep in contact with my mum and dad and siblings if not for facebook and going to internet cafes when possible. I would be more than happy to live without any of those things. as long as I had a warm place to sleep, warm clothes, good company, fresh, clean water and food. Everything else you should be able to live without. maybe these people see facebook as their only method of communication: a bit sad i know (and I certainly wouldnt say facebook) but isnt communication with other people what keeps alot of us going? whithout good communication with people we love what is there really?

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