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November 23, 2012

Stop the Presses — Sex is More Fun than Facebook

News flash of the week: People like sex more than Facebook.

With a study for every issue under the sun these days, it seems we needed hard data to confirm people would rather have sex than update their posts on the social networking site.

A study by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has revealed having sex is the most enjoyable human activity. In fact, Facebook not only did not make the list of top-ranked activities, it appeared on the list of the 10 worst-ranked activities.

UC postgraduate psychology researcher Carsten Grimm, through text messaging, charted the activities people consistently rated as bringing the most and least happiness to their daily lives.

Sex topped all three categories evaluated in the survey: pleasure, meaning and engagement. Drinking alcohol and volunteering took the second- and third-place slots on the list, while the least desirable activities were recovering from sickness, using Facebook and housework. Feeling sick was lowest rated in terms of pleasure, while using Facebook rated last in meaning.

“I texted people three times a day over a week and the response rate was really high,” Grimm said. “People are never far from their cellphones these days. People replied to on average 97 percent of all text-messages, and texts were sent at random times, so there is a really rich sample of everyday life to look at.”

The results of the survey are:

Top-Ranked Activities
1: Sex
2: Drinking alcohol
3: Volunteering
4: Meditating/religion
5: Caring for children
6: Listening to music
7: Socializing
8: Hobbies
9: Shopping
10: Gaming

Worst-Ranked Activities
1: Recovering from sickness
2: Facebook
3: Housework
4: Studying
5: Texting
6: Going to lectures
7: Paid work
8: Commuting
9: Computer work
10: Washing

A study by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, when compared with the University of Canterbury’s findings, may reveal a love-hate relationship with Facebook. While people may like having sex more than using Facebook, according to the University of Chicago study, the temptation to use social media, including Facebook, is a force to be reckoned with.

As part of the ‘desire regulation’ study, 205 adults wore devices that recorded a total of 7,827 reports about their daily desires. The study found trying to give up social media such as Facebook and Twitter was even more difficult than abstaining from sex or trying to give up smoking.

“Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist,” said lead author of the study Wilhem Hofmann.

Yet another survey — this one from Gazelle.com — declared Apple’s iPhone to be better than Facebook and sex, according to some users.

The survey showed 15 percent of people would rather give up sex for a weekend than be without their iPhone. Four percent admitted to using their iPhone during sex and 65 percent said they couldn’t live without the device.

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