Is Tech In the Home A Good Thing? Consumers Weigh In.

May 22, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Industries | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Technology | Youth & Gen X

Technology has made it less and less necessary to ever leave your home. People can now work from home offices, access quality entertainment from their living rooms, order groceries to be delivered to the door and talk to friends, family and strangers from the comfort of their own abodes. That could be why half of the more than 6,000 individuals surveyed for a report [pdf] by Accenture said they spend more time at home now than they did 5 years ago.

Accenture’s global survey found that technology in the home generates many feelings and emotions, some of which conflict. For example, some 36.6 million Smart Speaker units are expected to be sold in the US this year, and while the majority (71%) of respondents feel that this kind of technology in their homes makes life easier, more than 4 in 10 (43%) also say that the ability to do so much just by saying “Alexa, order more…” or “Ok Google, turn on the lights” is making them lazy.

In another sign of these tensions, many respondents believe that technology in the home is fun (57%) – but many also find it addictive (40%). Moreover, while a majority (57%) of respondents feel that technology in the home has made them feel more connected, almost half (46%) say it makes them feel isolated.

18-34-Year-Olds Feel More Isolated With Technology

Younger respondents (those in the 18-34 age group) feel a deeper sense of isolation with technology in the home than the general population. In fact, a considerably larger proportion of respondents in this age group (71%) than overall (46%) report that tech makes them feel isolated – an even greater percentage than feel connected (64%) due to tech.

Additionally, respondents in the 18-34 age group (50%) are slightly more likely than those overall (46%) to have the sense that technology in the home is intrusive. While this difference isn’t drastic, it does suggest that even though these young adults have grown up surrounded by the technology they are not immune to privacy concerns. In fact, they are willing to take steps to protect it, as evidenced by nearly twice the share adjusting their Facebook privacy settings compared to older adults in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations.

35-44-Year-Olds Feel Equally In Control and Dependent

There is an almost equal split for those respondents in the 35-44 age group who feel either in control (39%) or dependent (40%) on technology. The struggle between having control over technology and dependence on it seems almost universal among all the age groups.

As technology continues to become a bigger part of people’s lives and is integrated more and more into our homes, an Intel study found half of respondents believing that people in the future will become over-dependent on technology and spend less time interacting with each other.

Older People Find In-Home Technology More Fun Than Addictive

Respondents in the 65+ age bracket (62%) are less likely than the overall sample (71%) to believe that technology in the home makes life easier. At the same time, only 31% of the older age group feel that technology in the home is making them lazy.

About half (51%) of respondents 65 and older find technology in their homes fun. Interestingly enough, only about half as many (25%) feel technology is addictive.

While these findings differ from other age groups and the overall sample average, that may be due to fewer people in this age group using technology in their homes as, historically, tech adoption for the 65+ age group has been below-average.

To read more, access the report here.

About the Data: Accenture Research surveyed over 6,000 people, in 13 countries (United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, India, Japan and Australia). Respondents represented different age and demographic groups including single people, couples and families with children.

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