Things may be looking gloomy for the economy, but internet business is booming in the UK. In fact, the web is so important to us that many would be willing to give up some interesting things just to keep a connection.
By the year 2016, the internet economy will be worth around $4.2 trillion to countries within the G20, or so says a report by the management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
To put that in context, if the web were a national economy it would ‘rank in the world’s top five, behind only the US, China, India, and Japan,’ according to David Dean, co-author of the report.
It’s especially good news for the UK, with the internet contributing 8.3% of the UK economy, a bigger share than all its G20 rival countries. We even do more of our shopping on the net than any other country, with 13.5% of all purchases made online.
Slow down there
So, with the UK being the biggest ‘internet-based economy’, should we revel in our online growth? I’d actually urge a little caution.
While online stores are celebrating success, this has arguably come at the expense of the high street. Big name brands are shutting up shop – video game retailer Game has just gone into administration and Comet plans to close over 60 of its stores.
That aside, it’s clear we’re having a love affair with the internet in the UK. Indeed, it looks like many of us wouldn’t be able to give it up.
Making sacrifices to stay online
When BCG asked people what they’d be willing to give up for a year in order to maintain their internet connection, almost a fifth said they’d give up showering, around half would give up exercise, and a quarter would go without sex.
Maybe our love of the web is running a little too deep…
On the healthier side of things, 65% would give up alcohol for an internet connection, 76% chocolate, 78% coffee and 91% fast food. Eight in ten would discard their sat nav at the risk of finding their way alone (or with a paper map) and a fifth would lose their car altogether.
So, how important is the internet to you? Would you give up any of things mentioned above just to retain your broadband connection? (Surely you would for Which? Conversation alone?!)
What would you give up to keep your internet connection?
Chocolate (17%, 127 Votes)
Coffee (15%, 112 Votes)
Alcohol (14%, 108 Votes)
None of the above (10%, 79 Votes)
TV (10%, 74 Votes)
Exercise (8%, 62 Votes)
Going out (7%, 51 Votes)
Holidays (6%, 44 Votes)
Sex (5%, 37 Votes)
Car (4%, 30 Votes)
Shower/bath (2%, 16 Votes)
Friends (2%, 15 Votes)
Total Voters: 318