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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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The Not-So-United States of Technology

24/08/2013 08:44 (243 Day 05:45 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- Strong majorities of Americans believe that technology has improved the overall quality of their lives (71%) and encourages people to be more creative (65%). But, at the same time, strong majorities also believe technology is creating a lazy society (76%), has become too distracting (69%) and is corrupting interpersonal communications (68%), according to Harris Interactive Inc.

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Americans' collective assessment of technology's impact on everyday life appears to have suffered a bit over the past year. In comparison to June of 2012, Americans have become more likely to indicate that technology has become too distracting (from 65% in 2012 to 69% in 2013) and less likely to agree that it has improved the overall quality of their lives (78%-71%), that they use technology as an escape from their busy lives (53%-47%) and that it enhances their social lives (56%-52%), according to  Harris Interactive Inc.

 

There also appears to be year-over-year erosion in how Americans feel technology is affecting several aspects of their lives. Though Americans are consistently more likely to report a positive impact than a negative one for all aspects tested, many of these perceived positive effects have declined in comparison to 2012:

 

My work productivity (down from 42% in 2012 to 34% in 2013)
My work life (41%-34%)
My safety and security (42%-36%)
My productivity at home (39%-34%)
Relationships with my family (43%-39%)

Additionally, the perception that technology has a negative effect on safety and security has grown by a third in the same period, from 15% in 2012 to 20% in 2013, according to the report.

Men and women both appear conflicted on how technology impacts their lives, with each group standing out in their ability to see different positive and negative aspects of this relationship.

 

Men are more likely than women to agree that technology has improved the overall quality of their lives (76% men, 68% women) and that it encourages people to be more creative (69% men, 61% women). Men are also more likely to believe technology has a positive impact on several functional aspects of their lives, such as their safety and security (40% men, 33% women), their work productivity (38% men, 31%, women) and their productivity at home (38% men, 30% women). However, men are more likely to see technology as having a negative effect on their lives in more emotional areas such as their happiness (11% men, 6% women) and their social life (10% men, 6% women), according to the report.

Women also show some conflicting emotions toward tech. On the one hand, they are more likely than men to believe it has a positive effect on their relationships with friends (51% women, 44% men) and their happiness (44% women, 37% men); on the other hand, they're more likely to believe it has a negative effect on their productivity at home (25% women, 20% men). Women are also more likely than men to agree that technology has become too distracting (73% women, 64% men).

Additionally, women are more likely than men (25% and 20%, respectively) to indicate that they could not live without television - and the men may want to hand the remote over promptly when asked, as women are twice as likely as them to indicate that they could live without sex (27% women, 13% men), according to  Harris Interactive Inc.

 

 

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