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From Plumbing to Posting: Some of us would rather have Facebook than flushing toilets!


Priorities – the Brits need to get them in order, apparently. According to a survey conducted by London’s Science Museum, being connected on Facebook – a service that has existed since 2004 – is more important than flushing toilets – a service that has existed since 3100 BC.  Of course, there is more than one way to do your business without making use of a flushing toilet – but there’s only one Facebook.

The survey, which asked 3, 000 what they couldn’t live without, ranked Facebook fifth and flushing toilets ninth. The top three Brit ‘needs’ were, in order of ranking: sunshine (which, understandably, there’s not a lot of in Great Britain), an internet connection and clean drinking water.

There were some less understandable ‘needs’ in the top 50 list though, including eBay (#35), push-up bras (#43) and hair straighteners (#24).

The survey was conducted to coincide with the Science Museum’s exhibition, Water Wars: Fight the Food Crisis and aimed to highlight that those in the West take many aspects of their life for granted, while many others in the world don’t even have fresh water to grow crops – and probably don’t rank Facebook that highly in their list of priorities.

Sarah Richardson, the museum’s Exhibition Manager, said the survey results were “crazy”.

In an interview with the Daily mail, Richardson said: “It seems having fresh drinking water is something that many of us take for granted but is becoming scarcer in many parts of the world. If you see how little water others have to drink or grow food you soon realise water is fast becoming a luxury for millions.”

What about you – what couldn’t you live without? Think twice about what you really need to survive – does being able to update your Facebook status really beat a functioning plumbing system? You’d run out of places to dig holes in the ground really quickly.

The full list:

1. Sunshine 2. Internet connection 3. Clean drinking water 4. Fridge 5. Facebook 6. NHS  7. Cooker 8. Email 9. Flushing toilet 10. Mobile phone / smartphone 11. Tea and Coffee 12. Washing machine 13. Shower 14. Central heating 15. Painkillers 16. Fresh vegetables 17. Vacuum Cleaner 18. Kettle 19. Sofa 20. Shoes 21. Fresh fruit 22. Google 23. Car 24. Hair straighteners 25. Public transport 26. Laptop 27. Chocolate 28. DVD Player 29. Wristwatch 30. Make-up 31. Flat screen TV 32. Wedding ring 33. Tumble dryer 34. Bottled water 35. Ebay 36. Bicycle 37. Ipod 38. Air conditioning 39. Disposable nappies 40. Light bulbs 41. Spell-check 42. Sat Nav 43. Push-up bra 44. Nintendo Wii 45. iPad 46. Gym Membership 47. Season ticket to your football club 48. Freezer 49. Xbox 50. Twitter


Geoff James
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Geoff grew up in Berala near Lidcombe in Sydney and attended Birrong Boys High School where he finished his Year 10 school certificate. Geoff was encouraged by his uncle to consider plumbing as he had done a bit of plumbing work on weekends during his school years. DJ Childs Plumbing in Canterbury offered him a plumbing apprenticeship and he spent most of his time working on plumbing maintenance and new roofs on commercial sites. Geoff on Google+.