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What are people scared of? Hint: it’s not family or friend-related

What are people scared of? Hint: it’s not family or friend-related

What scares you?

Are your fears job-related? Connected to your friends or family? Or as specific and random as a rattlesnake?

To discover what really keeps us up at night, we presented 568 people on SurveyMonkey Audience with several hypothetical situations and asked them which scenarios they’d prefer.

So brace yourself for what we uncovered. Because if you aren’t careful, the results might just make you jump!

SurveyMonkey Audience can help you get answers directly from your target market.

Think those scary movies you watched as a child are out of sight, out of mind? Think again.

More than 3 out of 5 would rather miss an expensive international flight than sleep in a haunted house for a single night, alone.

And our respondents had a seemingly never-ending list of reasons and scenarios that lead them to fear snakes and spiders. This one might top the charts:

“Spiders are evil little creatures!”

Here’s what others had to say:

  • “Having a big, hairy spider on me is the most scary situation.”
  • “Being locked in a room with a bunch of spiders is my worst nightmare.”
  • “Deadly snakes really scare me.”

What’s the takeaway here? The next time a horror movie that revolves around spiders, snakes, or haunted houses comes out, avoid it—unless you want to get scared!

Yet, despite our ever-growing reliance on our phones, we seem to be ok with the idea of living without them.

Three in four would go without their phone for a month than be in solitary confinement for a week. And 80% prefer to live without their smartphone than lose their pinky toe. Probably unsurprisingly, young adults (18-29 years old) are less inclined, with only 70% willing to sacrifice their phone over their pinky toe. You can chalk it up to the fact that they’re consistently using their phones more and more.

Work can be scary—depending on how old you are  

Young adults are desperate to avoid undesirable work situations, and are more likely to take drastic measures to avoid them than their more senior colleagues:

  • 19% of young adults (18-29 years old) would go so far as eating a spider than attend a boring 3-hour meeting—versus 8% of older adults, 45-60 years old.
  • Only 41% of young adults would rather present to a crowd of 300 people than be stuck in a closet for 10 minutes. Older adults don’t let stage fright get to them, with 59% choosing to present over being stuck in a closet.  

….except when it comes to finding love.

  • An awkward, romantic situation with a colleague isn’t as fear inducing as calling your significant other by the wrong name. About 2 out of 3 would rather match on a dating app with a coworker. And young adults might even want to date their work buddy as nearly 80% of them sided with matching on a dating app.  

Even as technology and your use of it continues to evolve, your sources of terror will likely stay the same. You’ll find them crawling on your window sill and slithering in nearby hills.

Here's what else we learned: