This is another excellent blog from dbd’s elder statesman Peter Vaughan, following on from his last entry on keeping up with an ever changing technological world…
Well, well, well. Who would have thought it? The ink was barely dry on my recent blog on this site when, with impeccable timing, along comes the Daily Mail (quoting the results of a survey by market research company dnx) to suggest that a substantial minority of people are indeed ‘scared’ or ‘confused’ by technology. Join the club.
The earlier blog concerned itself with the subject of “Technophile versus Technophobe”, where I explained how I felt that I was being ‘left behind’ in the technology-awareness stakes – and not from choice, either. I’m convinced that a gap is developing between those who both know and embrace technology (think of all those lovely iPads, iPods, iPlayers, iPhones, etc.) and the rest of us who can’t embrace it quite as strongly, much as we would like to.
The report in question says (among other things), and I quote… “17 per cent of Brits admit they are being left behind by the fast changing pace of technology” – that is a significant minority. So, I’m not alone after all – which is something of a relief.
But (and it’s a big BUT) that statistic, interesting as it is, is not the principal (or most interesting) finding contained in the report. This was the Daily Mail’s headline:-
Lonely life of the techno-addict as thousands go up to 48 hours without speaking to another human.
“Technology addicts regularly go 48 hours without speaking to anyone in person.
A significant three per cent of adults (i.e. the ‘techno-addicts’) fall into a sub-set of a so-called ‘digitally dominant’ group which will mainly communicate via text, email or video calls.
The report goes on to suggest that technology – from smartphones to iPads – is helping to kill off physical and social interaction among those obsessed with the devices”
And there’s more, it seems that, for example:-
- Adults in the digitally dominant group are four times less likely to go to a shop than average.
- Those in the group prefer to use an automatic barrier rather than a ticket collector at a train station or buy their lunch from a vending machine, for instance.
- They rarely go out without both a mobile phone and a tablet computer, and buy their food via the internet.
In other words they only interact with the rest of the world via technology in one of its various forms.
Now, you wouldn’t think there was a cigarette paper’s difference between a technophile and a techno-addict, would you? Both are enthusiasts with a capital ‘E’ but there is a difference, subtle but apparent, i.e. you can be a technophile without developing the apparently anti-social tendencies described in the report.
A spokesman for the market research company (there is always a spokesman!) added ‘the digital revolution has given us all immense choice in the way we deal with situations from financial transactions to purchasing goods and services but it should not be used to replace the art of conversation and human contact’
Seems like good advice to me.