They say it is a ‘man thing’ this fantasy about swapping their wife or partner for someone new. Unfunny jokes about trading up to a newer model abound, some even indulge in a swinging lifestyle. But now it seems that some 13% of men in the UK, according to new research conducted by pollsters GfK NOP, would gladly swap their other half for the latest gadget.
Personally I do not find this a surprising statistic, given the poor state of many relationships and the huge attraction of gadgets such as the iPhone or PS3. Oh, and the fact that so many men are shallow and self-obsessed of course. What I do find surprising is that only 6% of women would do likewise, especially when you balance the attractive gadgets against us unattractive men. The Women's Watch: Girls Gone Wired survey
reckons that some 77% of women would prefer a new plasma TV to a diamond solitaire necklace, and 86% would take a new digital video camera over a new pair of designer shoes (obviously they never consulted my Jimmy Choo obsessed wife for her opinion on this.)
Not only is there a gender gap when it comes to gadget love, but a generation one as well. The survey reveals that the most dangerous men to get involved with, from a ‘you love your iPod more than me’ perspective, are those aged between 16 and 24 years of age as some 17% said they would swap their partner for some gadget action (compared to 2% of 55-64 year olds.)
So should you be taking this story seriously? Heck no, not least because it was commissioned by 60207, a UK cellphone based price comparison search service that naturally has some interest in you being interested in buying gadgets. But there is a serious side to all this, at a time when according to the Consumer Electronics Association the sales of consumer electronics to retailers in the US is predicted to grow by 6% over 2006 figures to a whopping great $155 billion this year. Add to that the growing concern amongst psychologists that ‘gadget mania’ can be harmful to health causing sleeping disorders and headaches, euphoria during the purchase phase and depression if gadget access is withdrawn (I’d be depressed if you took my Sansa or PSP away matey.)
So, the $64,000 question: would I swap my wife for a gadget? Heck no, although there are occasions when I’d gladly trade my senile pet cat for a Sony AIBO robot dog. Any takers?