Britain is a nation of ‘techthusiasts’, but many feel that they are being left behind by the digital revolution, according to a new survey conducted by Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy.
The proprietary research exploring the nation’s technology needs and habits found that 84% of us claim to enjoy learning about new technologies but that one in four of the people surveyed still feel that technology is alien to them, whilst nearly half of us are worried about being left behind by the changes afoot in the digital era.
A Nation of ‘Techthusiasts’
Britain is becoming increasingly reliant on technology in a multitude of ways, from how we entertain ourselves, to where we store our most precious possessions and the ways in which we communicate with our families. Half of the people surveyed admit to communicating by text or email with someone whilst in the same house, with 69% of the under 25s admitting to doing so.
These texts and emails range from simple statements or questions such as announcing their arrival in the home, asking a family member to put the kettle on and even flirting with their loved ones over text while they sat in the next room! Interestingly, women are more likely to use these digital forms of communication in-home than men (53% of women compared to 46% of men).
There are high numbers of 35-44 yr olds communicating in this way implying there are mums among the number who have tired of shouting ‘tea time’ up the stairs to oblivious teenagers and have succumbed to the preferred mode of communication of the youth generation – the mobile phone. And families are now 40% more likely to argue about digital storage space rather than who is using the landline in their spare time, reflecting the essential nature of new technology in everyday family life.
Living with Technology
Our increasing reliance on the tools that connect us to the world also shows the changes sweeping through the country. As a nation we are now more than twice as likely to choose to keep our internet access (52%) than our washing machines (19%) and whilst nearly half of those over the age of 35 head straight to the kettle for a cuppa when they arrive home, for under 35s the laptop is now the device we turn to first (38%), followed by the TV (35%), with only 21% opting for the kettle.
Perhaps the most obvious area where technology is enhancing our quality of life is in the sphere of entertainment. From 3DTV to mobile internet to social networking, digital changes are improving our entertainment experiences and this is reflected in the way in which we are increasingly using digital technology to meet our entertainment needs.
One in five of us are now watching films online and nearly two thirds of us are regularly surfing the internet in the company of others, which suggests a majority of us are now using the internet for entertainment as well as information and that media convergence is now part of normal life.
The Digital Learning Curve
However, despite our apparent love for technology, over half of us say we are still not getting the most out of the technology we own. Women in particular do not feel they are maximising the functionality of the products they own – in fact only one in three women feel they are getting the most out of their technology.
Many of us are also experiencing basic problems with our technology; one in two of us have had the frustrating experience of accidentally deleting or losing work we have stored digitally, whilst a quarter of us have lost photos or contacts on the computer.
The enthusiasm so many of us clearly have for a more digital way of life masks real unease about technological developments amongst a certain section of the population. Nearly half of us (40%) are worried about being left behind by the changes afoot in this digital world and one in four of the people surveyed said that technology is alien to them and. Perhaps unsurprisingly the older generation are slower to embrace the digital revolution. For instance, it is now the norm for those under 35 to store their music and photographs digitally but the majority of over 35s still store their music and photographs in traditional formats.
However it’s not just the older generation who worry about being left behind by digital advances; nearly one in three people aged 18-24 also share this concern suggesting that there is widespread uncertainty about and a lack of help available about how to keep abreast of the changes and make the most of what these new technologies have to offer.
Kevin Styles, Marketing Director at Best Buy UK, said: “All of us now live and breathe in a digitised world. We communicate by text, we reach for the laptop as our window to the world, we download content in ever increasing amounts – yet one in three of us still feels that we are not getting the most out of today’s technology.
“Digital advances can make our lives easier, more fun, more productive and better connected. We want to demonstrate to customers that everyone can get the most out of their technology to live a fuller, richer, faster, digital life.”
Overview of key findings
– 84% of Brits say they enjoy learning about new technologies
– Yet just under half of us are worried about being left behind with technological changes and one in four say that technology is alien to them
– 69 % of under 25s admitted to communicating by text or email with someone while in the same house
– Women are more likely to use these digital forms of communication in-home than men (53% of women compared to 46% of men)
– Families are now 40% more likely to argue about digital storage space rather than who is using the landline in their spare time.
– Brits are now more than twice as likely to choose to keep our internet access (52%) than our washing machines (19%)
– Nearly half of those over the age of 35 switch on the kettle as soon as they arrive home. For under 35s the laptop is now the technology they can’t live without and turn to first (38%), followed by the TV (35%), with only 21% opting for the kettle.
– One in five now watch films and TV online
– Nearly two thirds of us are regularly surfing the internet in the company of others
– Over half of Brits don’t feel that they get the most out of the technology then own
– Only one in three women feel they are getting the most out of their technology
– One in two of us have had the frustrating experience of accidentally deleting or losing work we have stored digitally, whilst a quarter of us have lost photos or contacts on the computer
– 53% of under 35s store their music collection digitally and 63% do the same with their photographs compared to 30% and 57% respectively of over 35s.
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