What would you trade for guaranteed internet access?

Fear of missing out

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - What would you give up to ensure you had access to high speed internet?

That's the question a new study commissioned by wireless carrier AT & T poses.  It gets to the heart of FOMO, or "fear of missing out".

The researchers polled people from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  AT&T admits the findings are not nationally representative but the company asked 2,000 Americans what they would sacrifice to stay online.

WBTV Cyber Expert Theresa Payton says she was a little stunned by the results.

Payton points out a few of the findings:

35.9% of American men would happily chop off a finger rather than be off the grid; ladies, 22.6% of American women would give up a finger

Who was more likely to not want to unplug?  Residents of New England and New York

Deep South residents said they could do without the internet.

Nearly 2 in 10 people would give up their significant other to stay connected on the go – and almost 3 in 10 would ditch their dog for their mobile connectivity.

Almost 20% of the people AT&T surveyed value having an Internet connection in their homes more than having running water.

Payton adds that keeping perspective is important and that there's a chance, if faced with real choices, people might respond differently."

"Talk to your kids & teens about how important it is to "unplug" and enjoy the physical world without digital interruptions.  Try 'digital free' days when it is safe and possible and feasable to do so," Payton said.

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