The Weekly Geek: Internet vs. Relationships

As I was browsing the news the other day, in order to distract myself from the “Microsoft bans lesbian gamer” kerfuffle (which, by the way, has prompted me to keep my Xbox 360 turned off all week — we’ll see how long that lasts, however), I came across a study published at Reuters that was downright disturbing.

According to the article, a study conducted on German 20-somethings revealed that younger folks would rather forgo their partners than the Internet.

You can’t make this stuff up: “In a survey by German broadband association Bitkom around 84 percent of respondents aged 19-29 said they would rather do without their current partner or an automobile than forego their connection to the Web.” Ouch — so much for all those Dentyne “facetime” commercials.

Sure, this was a study conducted in Germany, and yes, the younger generation is a bit obsessive about their online activities, but I sincerely doubt the findings would be terribly different with similar Web-savvy populations around the world, lesbians included. In fact, I wonder if online obsessions have inspired a few cases of the dreaded lesbian Bed death (LBD).

I don’t mean to sound like I’m down on cyberspace — I’ll wager my geek card that I spend more time surfing than your average person-with-a-life. Plus, several studies have concluded that the queer population tends to be more active online — with the common-sense reasoning that queer folks are into online community building, especially if they live outside larger cities, where real-life LGBT communities tend to be fewer and farther between. And obviously there’s no place like home (page) at AfterEllen.com — am I right, ladies?

Still, it’s very creepy to me that people would actually choose surfing over snuggling (or other activities) in real life. As much as my own girlfriend gives me hell for being glued to my laptop, I can’t see picking a skinny aluminum box over her. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, or maybe it’s just that machines are too cold and hard to cuddle with at night, but I’ve got to have that human interaction.

What do you think? Have you ever turned down any “opportunities” in order to surf? Or worse — if it came down to a decision between your internet connection and your partner — which would you choose?

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