Internet proves too irresistible during weddings, church

The first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have one, and we think much of the population has one. According to new survey results from security software firm PC Tools, many US adults are all too happy to log into the Internet during weddings, honeymoons, dinners, and more, but they'd much rather do just about anything else than take care of their own computer maintenance.

PC Tools sells software to end users in order to help combat spyware, improve performance, set up firewalls, muck with the Windows registry, perform backups, and more. Though the survey was carried out by Harris Interactive, PC Tools' goal here is to push an agenda, and that is that people should be taking care of their machines (*cough* buy more software!). That said, Harris Interactive surveyed 1,012 adults in the US, controlling for age, sex, and region, in order to compile the results.

Internet proves too irresistible during weddings, church

What the companies found was that 29 percent of Americans are OK with being "plugged in" while honeymooning (a descriptor that other news outlets seem to interpret as "all sex, all the time"), while six percent say it's OK during a wedding. Eight percent are cool with checking the Internet during a religious service—hey, gotta set those fantasy football lineups before the benediction—while 41 percent think it's acceptable while having dinner with family and friends.

PC Tools says that these are surprising statistics, given that more than three-quarters of those surveyed said they would rather do just about anything other than maintenance on their own PC. The list included going to the dentist, waiting at the DMV, sitting in traffic, getting a colonoscopy (Really? Twelve percent would rather do that than install a personal firewall?), changing a diaper, or doing laundry.

"While some of these results may seem amusing, they show that staying connected is a very serious issue to many, no matter what the circumstance," PC Tools VP of sales and marketing Stephanie Edwards said in a statement. "[W]e entrust our computers and the Internet with our most intimate details—even if we don’t have the time or inclination to worry about computer maintenance or safety."

These results reflect those seen in other surveys conducted by Retrevo and JWT. Retrevo's survey from earlier this year said that a quarter of users under 25 were OK with being interrupted during a meal by electronic messages, and 11 percent were fine with it during sex. JWT's results from 2007 said that 20 percent of users knowingly spent less time having sex as a result of Internet use, and 28 percent acknowledged spending less time with their friends thanks to gadgets.

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? I am (does it count if it's someone else's wedding?), but I also already admit that I have a problem.