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MySurvey Releases August Survey Results

August 3rd, 2007

The market research company MySurvey has sent out their latest edition of Opinion Digest, which I received in the mail earlier today. Among the contents of this monthly newsletter were the results of a recent survey titled “What Can’t You Live Without”.

According to the survey, 51 percent of Americans now consider a home computer a necessity rather than a luxury, and the list of what items people consider necessary is growing. Some of the items have been around for quite some time, but are now deemed necessities by much larger segments of the population. In 1996 only 32 percent of American adults considered a microwave oven a necessity, but by 2006 this figure had increased to 68 percent. Here are some of the other findings:

Types of Items % of Respondents
Car 91%
Clothes Washer 90%
Television 64%
Car Air Conditioning 59%
Cell Phone 49%
Dishwasher 35%
Cable or Satellite TV 33%
High Speed Internet 29%
Flat Screen TV 5%
IPod 3%

It’s funny how so many people consider these kinds of items necessities, yet most of these things didn’t even exist 100 years ago. Even today, in some regions of the world many of these items are still considered luxuries and are owned by only a small percentage of the population.

Frankly, I don’t consider most of these things necessities either, although I understand that a person’s perspective on this depends to a large degree on one’s own personal situation. For instance, I have not owned a car since 1995, and now that I am a home based Internet marketer I don’t really need one since I do not have to commute to work (and as an added bonus, I have been able to save thousands of dollars on auto insurance without even having to switch to Geico). All of the TV-related items are essentially unnecessary for me also; I almost never watch TV anymore, especially since I can get all of the information and entertainment I can possibly digest from the Internet. Cell phones and IPods are things that I have never owned and simply have no use for; it would be silly to view these as necessities. Clothes washers and dishwashers are nice to have, but they are really just convenience items. I could easily wash clothes and dishes manually if I needed to without too much trouble.

The only things on the list that I would actually consider necessities for my own personal situation are computers and Internet connections. After a moment’s thought, this will seem obvious; for bloggers and Internet marketers, these are among the few things that we really could not live without in our particular line of work. Fortunately, most of the modern devices cited in the survey are not really necessary and can wait until cash flow increases to the point where the distinction between necessity and luxury will not matter much.


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