Survey shows people would prefer to give up their toothbrush than mobile!

The UK is far more likely to give up their sleep, toothbrush and soap than their mobile devices

A nationwide survey by children’s charity, Dreams Come True has found that mobile devices are more valued than sleep, soap and a toothbrush. Despite the fact that smart phones did not exist in their current form eightyears ago, they’re now the item the UK can’t live without, in preference to basic hygiene.

The survey was conducted to launch Dreams Come True’s new fundraising initiative ‘Digital Detox’, which asks people to give up their digital devices to fundraise to help fulfil the dreams of children with life-limiting conditions.

The survey found that 31 per cent of respondents were least likely to give up their mobile devices, behind their toothbrush (29% value this the most), soap (22%) and sleep (18%). Interestingly, 49% of females age 18-24 valued sleep the least, in preference to their digital devices.

The Digital Detox is the brainchild of 7-year-old Marley, who decided he wanted to raise money for Dreams Come True by doing something a bit different. Marley’s mum, Jo Rampton, said: “Marley chose to do a digital detox because he says it’s different to the sponsored stuff kids usually do and he was trying to think of “the hardest thing possible” for him – giving up his electronic devices. Marley chose the charity Dreams Come True because his great-granny has supported the charity since 2002 and he raised £35.” After seeing the success of his fundraising, his School championed the fundraising effort and encouraged all pupils and parents to get involved.

The campaign dubbed the ‘Digital Detox’ has now spread across the nation and Dreams Come True is asking everyone to give up their electronic devices for a day to raise funds for the charity. Peter Newman, Chief Executive, Dreams Come True, says: “Marley’s Digital Detox fundraising campaign has shown us how one enthusiastic seven year-old can inspire the nation and we dare you to remove yourself from your digital devices to raise funds for children who really do need technology to make their lives better. Whether it’s a purposebuilt trike, or an eyegaze computer, these children need technology to help them.” Jo Rampton believes that Marley’s digital detox was not only for a great cause but also enabled Marley to find new forms of entertainment. Jo said: “It was lovely to see Marley take a rest from the laptop and tablet and focus on using his imagination.”

The survey uncovered some interesting regional divides, with people in Wales valuing their sleep the least (but are the best at brushing their teeth) and people in the South East valuing soap the least.

See more regional results below:

• East Anglia is the region most in love with their mobile devices with 36% of respondents saying they would rather give up an hour’s sleep, soap or their toothbrush for a day.
• The East Midlands is the region that values their mobile device the least.
• In Wales they value their sleep much less than those in the rest of the country and as a result of sacrificing sleep they are much more likely to brush their teeth, wash with soap and use their mobile device.
• Conversely in the South East they would happily give up soap for the day if it meant they could brush their teeth, sleep and use their mobile device.

About the challenge Give up either your phone, tablet, computer (or all three!) for a period of time and raise money to help us to help children get the technology they need to improve their lives and make their dreams come true. You can donate to Dreams Come True via text throughout the year.

To donate to our Digital Detox campaign and help raise money for vital equipment dreams text DIGI15 £3 to 70070. To get involved and challenge your friends contact Sarah Kirby at or Download our sponsorship form here.

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Author: Hannah Attenburrow

Date: 27/03/2015

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