A Slice of Life as an American Single

REDMOND, Wash., April 3, 2001 — “We all sleep alone,” the pop song says. But do Americans prefer to live that way? According to a recent survey on MSN® , the answer is a resounding
“somewhat.”

The survey was conducted March 14-16 by Harris Interactive for http://www.bridgetjonesdiary.msn.com/ , the official Web site of Miramax’s upcoming feature film
“Bridget Jones’s Diary”
to be released April 13. It asked questions of 773
“Singletons.”
(Singleton is the term used by the film’s protagonist, Bridget Jones, to describe those whose lives revolve around their single-person status. Still unclear? Think of it this way: Ally McBeal is a card-carrying Singleton; Barbara Bush is not.)

What did this group of Singletons have to say?

  • Two-thirds of Singletons surveyed believe that their married friends envy their (allegedly) free-wheeling lifestyles.

  • Only one in five Singletons expressed the desire to stay single, and the same percentage said they feel that Singletons have better sex than married couples.

  • Thirty-five percent of males surveyed expect to remain single, compared with 21 percent of their female counterparts.

  • While the rule of thumb is that love and labor don’t mix, nearly one in four (23 percent) respondents reported having taken a swipe at an office romance.

  • When asked whether they’d rather hang out with Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant or Colin Firth for a night, 68 percent of males chose Zellweger, 28 percent chose Grant, and 4 percent picked Firth. Among females, 59 percent preferred Grant’s company, 33 percent chose Zellweger, and 9 percent picked Firth (source: HarrisInteractive, http://www.bridgetjonesdiary.msn.com/ ).

Getting It on … Online

While Singletons of yore had to resort to primitive media such as smoke signals, town criers and the telegraph to reach out to one another, nowadays Singletons are finding that they can approach romance efficiently and safely in cyberspace.

Nearly one in five of the Singleton survey respondents (18 percent) cited the Internet as their venue of choice for finding a date, and it’s safe to assume that number will grow with the proliferation of romance-oriented Web sites.

One online resource has a lot to offer the plugged-in Singleton: the MSN network of Internet services MSN provides singles and soon-to-be singles a new home on the Internet –
a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. When it comes to the ladies in the crowd, MSN WomenCentral provides a gathering place for women of all shapes, sizes and marital statuses, providing each woman with the latest on Relationships and Homelife, Career, Beauty and Style, and Fitness.

Singletons Also Say There’s No Hurry

Despite the common perception that nagging parents and ticking biological clocks make single life a perpetual mate-hunt, only 17 percent of respondents reported that they feel pressure to get into a relationship. When the pressure is on, it tends to come from two specific sources, and they’re not mom and dad.

Come Here Often?

When Singletons do get the urge to merge, the majority turn to friends for hot leads. That doesn’t mean that Singletons are totally at the mercy of their friends’ black books when it comes to the search for a potential mate.

Men are significantly more likely than women to take out a personal ad in the hopes of meeting a mate (61 percent vs. 38 percent, respectively), with online personals preferred over newspapers or magazines for both genders (40 percent vs. 6 percent, respectively).

Singletons of Significance

Finally, the survey showed that being a Singleton doesn’t mean relegating oneself to permanent anonymity. Many Singletons have gone down in history and are revered worldwide. As for the Singletons most admired by the MSN survey’s Singletons, 41 percent of respondents venerate Jesus the most, with 8 percent looking up to Beethoven, 6 percent emulating Catwoman, and a mere 3 percent looking to Calista Flockhart as a source of Singleton inspiration.

About MSN

MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet – a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. With more than 230 million visitors per month, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft® .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with an integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. MSN Internet Access and the recently introduced MSN Explorer offer quick, personal and exciting ways to get on to and take advantage of the Web. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, the world’s largest Web-based e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest-growing Web-based instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

This Harris Interactive QuickQuery SM survey was conducted online within the United States March 14-16, 2001, among a nationwide cross section of 2,365 adults. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

In theory, one can expect that 95 percent of surveys with probability samples of this size would produce results that were within plus or minus 2 percentage points of what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled using the same methods.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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