Consumers rely on new technology

28 February 2014
WASHINGTON: Older technologies like TV and landline phones are losing stature, while the internet and cell phones have risen as key technologies, a new survey has found.

Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web, the Pew Research Internet Project surveyed 1,006 US adults to assess the attitudes to the internet and found that 53% of internet users said the internet would be "very hard" to give up. This compared with 38% in 2006.

This view was more strongly held by women than men (56% vs 48%) and by those with higher levels of education and household income.

Similarly, 49% of cell phone owners said their cell would be very hard to give up, compared with 43% in 2006. And again people in higher income households were more likely to say this while 30-49 year olds held this conviction most strongly.

The figures for users of older technology were rather lower. Just 28% of landline telephone owners indicated that their phone would be very hard to give up, a significant drop from 48% in 2006. Unsurprisingly, age was a major determinant, with 46% of those over 65 saying it would be very hard for them to lose their landline compared to 7% of those aged 18-29.

TV was also losing its hold, with 35% of all adults saying they would struggle without it, down from 44% in 2006. But amongst the youngest age group of 18-29 year olds there was increasing indifference to this medium, with just 12% of this age group saying it would be hard to give up.

Despite the claims made for social media, fewer people would view it as an effort to give these platforms up, when compared to giving up email. Just 11% of internet users said they would find social media hard to give up compared to the 36% who would be bereft without email.

Overall, four in ten adults said internet access was essential to them and among this group twice as many cited work-related reasons as pleasure.

Data sourced few Pew Research Center; additional content by Warc staff
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