So, I asked NewsDash readers, from a list of items used in daily life, which one could you not give up? Let me stipulate up front that I realized my list was not an exhaustive list of items readers may think were indispensable in their everyday lives, but I was trying to get a sense of how important technology has become.
I also must say, respondent demographics were skewed towards the “older” generations (to which I belong, so do not get offended), which may have some bearing on the results. Only 1.2% of respondents are in the ages 18 to 30 group, and only 10.6% are ages 31 to 40. The largest number of respondents (42.9%) are in the ages 51 to 60 group, while 21.7% are ages 41 to 50, and 23.6% are older than 60.
From the list of items used in daily life, the toothbrush was the item the most respondents (41.9%) feel is a must-have, followed by the car (25%). Eight percent of responding NewsDash readers indicated they could give up any items on the list, and none of them selected iPod, e-Reader, gaming system or other electronic entertainment as their must-have items.
Other items ranked as follows:
- Deodorant – 5.6%;
- Razor – 0.6%;
- Microwave – 0.6%;
- Television – 1.9%;
- Laptop/computer – 6.3%;
- Mobile phone – 3.8%; and
- Debit/credit card – 6.3%.
Just out of curiosity, and because I recently read a news report that a study found two out of every five households use a mobile phone as their only phone, I also asked NewsDash readers, do you still have a landline phone or is your mobile phone your only phone? Three-quarters (75.8%) of those who responded indicated they use both a landline and a mobile phone, 23.6% reported they use a mobile phone only, and 0.6% have a landline phone only.
Verbatim comments such as “I’m over 60 so I lived much of my life without many of these,” are why I said the skew of the demographics likely affected the choices. Apparently, a good number of NewsDash readers live in rural areas, as many said in verbatim comments that’s why they selected the car as their must-have item. And, a good number are considerate to others, as the hygiene items were chosen based on what others would experience: “While I feel I could give them all up, you might want to canvas those around me on things like deodorant… I could live without it, but I’m not sure they could live with my living without it…” Of course, many revealed must-haves that were not on my list: toilet paper, coffee, chocolate, fashionable clothing, to name a few. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “As for my ‘must-have’ item, it was neck and neck between my mobile phone and toothbrush, so I’m counting on my mobile one day coming with a toothbrush attachment.”
A big thank you to everyone who responded to the survey!
over 60 so I lived much of my life without many of these. You can work around
the first 3 items but where I live, I can't be without a car.
for my "must-have" item, it was neck and neck between my mobile phone
and toothbrush, so I'm counting on my mobile one day coming with a toothbrush
would add toilet paper as well as toothbrush. First two things I use in the
mornings. AC is another one I would have a hard time doing without, especially
in Texas summers.
the toothbrush as I live with people - I could lose it all if needed....
and deodorant rank equally.
toothbrush has to do more with health. That's why I couldn't give it up - you
need healthy teeth!
first world problems.
of the items listed can be probably be given up from the perspective of the
user; however, I think some would be considered "must-have/must use"
items from the perspective of the person coming into contact with someone who
does not consider personal hygiene important.
only need these items if you think you need them. Change your thinking and
you'll find you can do without them all.
many of the items listed have changed from wants to needs in many people's
fatal oversight in the selections for number 2 above. You did not include
chocolate or diet coke.
not an "item used in daily life," I couldn't give up my cat or dog!
would need floss to go with that toothbrush. Since committing to flossing
daily, I've not missed a day in over 9 years.
up most of these items would be hard since they represent
"convenience" and value vs. the alternatives.
not give up most of the items.
a long distance runner, so I guess I would have to have my running shoes.
though I chose toothbrush, if lost on a desert island, I would
"MacGyver" something to suit the need!
is used daily for my job. Hard to give that up.
not one of those people who constantly checks their cell phone. For me, it just
makes me feel safer to have help only a phone call away.
and Family only things that really matter
not that we can't give up any of these or many more items; it's that some would
cause great inconvenience. For instance a car really isn't a life/death
necessity but where I live with bad/no public transportation throughout the
area, other modes of getting around simply are not viable at my advanced age.
the first 4 are must-haves. The rest I could do without.
have the same level of "panic" when I forget my cell phone as I do
when I forget my debit card but since I can only choose one, I chose the debit
card. As long as I have it, I can always buy another cell phone!
the "gadgets." I rely on dependable electricity and clean running
water. Without those, the rest are useless...
is a definite "must-have" item in my daily life, too.
decision between toothbrush and deodorant every day. However, if I want to work
in my current capacity (at least 5 days per week), I would either need the
computer (to work from home) or the car (to get to work). On second thought, I
would have to go with the computer, since my co-workers would not want me to be
around if I'm not using deodorant and a toothbrush and I don't want to do an
actuarial valuation of any sizeable defined benefit plan on my calculator and
does not accurately reflect what my choices would be.... food, sex, water, yoga
and fashionable clothing all beat the selections above....
a child TV was something to watch Saturday morning cartoons and after you came
in the house after being outside all day. While I still spend a good bit of
time outside the TV is entertaining but a car has almost become a necessity to
get to work, shop etc since I live in a rural area. I guess I could buy a
in rural area with no access to public transportation. If I lived in a metro
area, my answer--must have car--would be different.
dishwasher to the list --
I live in a rural-urban area, there is no public transportation and a car is
essential. I wouldn't like to give up any of the things on the list, but the
car would be the hardest to live without in my current circumstances.
older I get, the more I realize I don't need or want. Knowing that my dental
health is highly aligned to my overall physical health, I'll keep the
toothbrush, thanks, and I'll stay hairy. You can have the cell phones, e-readers,
email, social media tools; just leave me in peace, please and let me do my job
with thoughtfulness and some blue sky time to innovate!
add "spouse" as item I could not give up; hopefully, she feels the
I could give up ANY of the listed items, I probably could not give up ALL of
them simultaneously. And giving up a toothbrush, deodorant or a razor could
result in giving up some personal relationships as well!
have" is an interesting concept. Most of us think we must have something
that we already have, until we don't have it. I was recently off the grid for a
few days, i.e. no cell coverage, no Internet... and somehow survived.
call on the choices: car vs. computer vs. mobile phone. The computer/mobile
phone are interchangeable, and ultimately I went with "car" since I
need it for my (and my kids') activities.
are you way off, I would not give up toilet paper.
books and newspapers -- on real paper!
toothbrush is the only must-have. Without it, the other items would all be
necessary as no one would interact with me, especially after a nice garlic
filled meal this Italian loves to eat!
and Deodorant are high on the list. Car would be next. After that, I could do
without any of the others.
I could give up all of these items for a single day, I would find it most
difficult to go more than a day or two without a car to get me wherever I need
to be. Of course, I would be hard pressed to go more than a week with any of
the other items!
asked what I would bring to a deserted island if I could only bring one thing,
I said my husband. Sorry Honey, but I think I have a better chance of survival
if I have another, resourceful person with me.
would think in some cases, your decision would be based on where you live. To
someone with available public transportation, a car would not seem to be all
that necessary. However, for someone like me, who lives in the woods, a vehicle
is a necessity!
first checked "car." But then when I got to this question I paused
and took a really hard look at the list. I realized I truly could give them all
up and still be a functioning human being who goes to work every day, pays her
bills, and enjoys her life just fine without all of those things.
live in the boonies with no public transportation, car is absolutely
necessary... though I do love my toothbrush
#1, car #2, computer #3.
phone is my life line. It has all my contact information as well as my dad's
doctors’ numbers. I haven't used an address book in years, but because it's all
in my phone.
can use my finger in place of toothbrush, or start oil pulling for dental
health. But I could not start hiding cash all over the house, carrying large
amounts of cash, or spending time at the bank, so I need my Debit and Credit
Cards. I don't carry debt, but I do use them to pay for everything just out of
could live without the modern conveniences - it would be hard, but I could do
it. I cannot stand it if I smell bad.
could get all of these items as long as I had the debit card!
not married to the internet or my smart phone. If either of them were dissolved
for all mankind, we would survive! Not as easily, but we'd do it!
friends, and fly fishing.
need to get a grip on what's important. Try talking to people face to face. How
do you think the people who invented cell phones communicated to their
family in different areas of the world, the computer has become a necessity so
we can stay connected
While I feel I could give them all up, you might want to canvas those around me on things like deodorant... I could live without it, but I'm not sure they could live with my living without it...
NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.