Americans in tech-life balance fail

20 November 2014

BOISE, ID: Most Americans believe they have a healthy tech-life balance but in reality most can't go more than two hours without feeling compelled to check their phone or email a new survey has shown.

An independent survey commissioned by Crucial, a maker of computer memory products, polled 1,000 adults aged 18 to 65 about their use of technology and its impact on their personal and professional lives. This found that one in four became stressed by going longer than 30 minutes without access to their electronics devices as they lived with a fear of missing out.

The disconnect between how Americans see their relationship with technology and the truth was evident in the lengths to which men would go in order to stay connected.

Three quarters claimed to have a balanced or very balanced tech-life ratio, but 84% admitted to having checked a mobile device in inappropriate circumstances, such as while driving, in a movie theatre, at a funeral or during a child's play/recital.

Additionally, one in five acknowledged that they would rather go without a car than give up technology for a week, while 16% would forgo showering for the same length of time.

And 12% said they had lied about the amount of time they had spent on their mobile device.

Women too thought they had achieved a tech-life balance but they were more likely to feel guilty about the amount of time they spent checking their devices. They were also more sceptical about the role of tech, with almost six in ten (62%) fearing for the art of verbal communication and four in ten (39%) worried about the adverse impact on people's posture from continually looking down at their phones.

The millennials surveyed were, unsurprisingly, the most connected, but they didn't always welcome that. Three in ten (31%) – more than any other age group – wanted to return to a time when people were not constantly connected, a finding possibly not unconnected to that fact that one third admitted that technology had been the cause of an argument with a significant other.

Quite apart from the social fallout, technology-induced apprehension was also driven by the technology itself, with one third of respondents reporting they had to wait longer than five minutes for their devices to load or stat up.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff