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Most Americans would prefer life without the Internet

by on19 June 2023

Particularly older millennials and Gen Xers

A new Harris Poll shared exclusively with Fast Company found that most Americans would prefer to live "in a simpler era before everyone was obsessed with screens and social media."

The poll says that this is particularly true among older millennials and Gen Xers which is something you would expect. More than 77 per cent of middle-aged Americans (35-54 years old) say they want to return to a time before society was "plugged in," meaning a time before there was widespread internet and mobiles.

More surprisingly 63 per cent of younger folks (18-34 years old) were also keen on returning to a pre-plugged-in world, despite they never knew what that world looked like, or the joys of using a  telephone box smelling of Nintendo.  In total, 67 per cent of respondents said they'd prefer things as they used to be versus as they are now.

"Interestingly, baby boomers were slightly less eager to time hop, with only 60 per cent of people over 55 saying they'd prefer to return to yesteryear," notes Fast Company.

While Americans may want to unshackle themselves from the burden of constant connectivity, an overwhelming 90 per cent also said that being open-minded about new technologies is important, a finding that mostly held up across demographics. About half of the respondents even said they tend to adopt new technologies before most people they know.

Just over half said they found keeping up with new technologies overwhelming, and about that same percentage said they believe technology is more likely to divide people than unite them. Here, it was younger respondents who took the most pessimistic view, with 57 per cent of people under 35 agreeing that technology divides, versus 43 per cent who disagreed.


Last modified on 19 June 2023
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