Conducted by Zogby International, a polling firm in Utica, N.Y., the survey questions were e-mailed to a scientifically selected sample of nearly 9,800 U.S. adults, who offered precise feedback to not-so-burning questions like, "Can the Internet serve as a substitute for a significant other?"
To that question, 24 percent answered "Yes." Apparently, a good broadband connection and all the possibilities it opens up would compensate for not having a companion who might, after all, leave the cap off the toothpaste, fail to put the seat down on the toilet or hog the TV remote.
Singles, as expected, are more likely (31 percent) to consider the Internet sufficient companionship. That men and women responded that way in equal numbers either supports Galvin's "it's not just smut" thesis or suggests that the wild side of the Web is an equal-opportunity lure.
Well, this really takes to task the idea that people need physical interaction with other humans. But this shouldn't really surprise anyone. After all, we've been gradually pulling ourselves into electronic shells anyway. Even when we go out, we're encased in iPod or Nintendo DS composed "armor" that shields us from interaction with others.