NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology affects us in all sorts of ways. It can extend our lives and make them more entertaining, while also making us vulnerable to privacy breaches and thievery concerns our forefathers never could have seen coming. It can draw us closer together while also being criticized for keeping us separated by ever-present screens. A recent Harris Poll found that among the general population, U.S. adults are divided on how technology impacts the way we live our lives. Looking now more specifically at IT decision makers (ITDMs) – who due to the nature of their vocation are among those most connected to and dependent on communication technologies – reveals heightened positive feelings towards technology, but also some reservations about how it affects our lives.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 315 full-time U.S. IT decision makers interviewed online December 11-18 and 2,210 U.S. adults surveyed online June 12-17 by Harris Interactive. The IT decision makers portion of the study utilized the ITDMQuery platform. (Full findings, including data tables, can be found here.)
It is perhaps predictable that majorities of ITDMs – and higher percentages than seen among the general population of U.S. adults – see technology as having benefitted them personally; it is worthy of note, however, that they are also more likely to see technology as benefitting people in general:
- Technology has improved the overall quality of my life (86% ITDMs, 71% U.S. adults).
- Technology encourages people to be more creative (79% ITDMs, 65% U.S. adults).
- Technology enhances my social life (69% ITDMs, 52% U.S. adults).
- I use technology as an escape from my busy life (65% ITDMs, 47% U.S. adults).
ITDMs are also consistently more likely than general population Americans to see technology as affecting key aspects of their lives in a positive way. While this might be expected for aspects of their professional lives, such as their work productivity (82% ITDMs, 34% U.S. adults) and work lives (76% and 34%, respectively), it's worth noting that majorities also believe technology is affecting more personal aspects of their lives in positive ways as well:
- My ability to live life the way I want to (66% ITDMs, 42% U.S. adults).
- My productivity at home (64% ITDMs, 34% U.S. adults).
- My safety and security (62% ITDMs, 36% U.S. adults).
- My happiness (61% ITDMs, 41% U.S. adults).
- Relationships with friends (57% ITDMs, 47% U.S. adults).
- My social life (56% ITDMs, 41% U.S. adults).
But of course, nothing is perfect, and majorities of ITDMs do recognize that technology does come with some strings attached. For one thing, three-fourths of ITDMs (75%) say their employer expects them to always be "on call" or online due to the fact that technology makes this possible, vs. 43% of employed U.S. adults overall. Majorities also agree that:
- Technology is corrupting interpersonal communications (65% ITDMs, 68% U.S. adults).
- Technology has become too distracting (59% ITDMs, 69% U.S. adults).
- Technology is creating a lazy society (57% ITDMs, 76% U.S. adults).
Roughly half of ITDMs also admit that their friends and/or family think they use technology too frequently (51% ITDMs, 25% U.S. adults).
Gotta have it
Given their vocation and aforementioned affection for tech, it should come as little surprise that ITDMs are more likely to show a dependent relationship to technology. They are more likely than the general population to say they could not live without Internet access (38% ITDMs, 28% U.S. adults), a mobile phone (31% and 26%, respectively) and a computer and/or laptop (30% and 24%, respectively).
But even among these top-tier tech users, human touchpoints still take precedence over technological ones, as ITDMs were as likely as their general population counterparts to say they could not live without their spouse or significant other (43% ITDMs, 45% U.S. adults) – so they're human after all.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 12 and 17, 2013 among 2,210 adults (aged 18 and over) and between December 11 and 18, 2013 among 315 full-time IT decision makers (ages 18 and older, IT professionals with at least a major influence on IT decision-making at a company with 20+ employees). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
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The Harris Poll® #12, January 29, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
SOURCE Harris Interactive