How covid-19 impacts our relationship with tech
The latest edition of the Digital Society Index (DSI) survey, by global marketing agency Dentsu Aegis Network, has found that we’re interacting with technology in a more-positive way than ever before. One third (29%) of participants believe tech’s enabled them to connect with friends, family and the world around them during lockdown, while a similar proportion (29%) of people globally believe tech’s enabling them to relax and unwind at a time of potential stress.
The survey ran March–April 2020, analysing the views of 32 000 people, across 22 markets, in terms of people’s relationship with technology and the knock-on effect on their well-being, as well as their connection with friends and family.
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Results reveal that people in emerging markets have been learning new skills and improving their knowledge, fuelled by the rise in digital solutions and online courses. With more time at home to learn and self-improve, almost half of people surveyed in South Africa (46%), Mexico (44%) and Brazil (43%) have been using tech in this way. That compares to one fifth of people in the UK (18%) and a quarter in the US (24%), who’ve also been using tech to upskill using educational apps and webinars, for example.
South Africans appear to have been using tech to monitor their physical and mental health more than any other country, with a third (29%) of survey respondents having said they check health apps or use wearable devices. This is followed by a fifth of all Polish, Singaporeans, and Brazilians (22%). Almost a fifth (17%) of all Americans said they’ve done the same.
Despite the shorter-term benefits of tech during the novel coroavnirus pandemic, the Dentsu Aegis Network report shows that there’s a longer-term trend of a “techlash”: a negativity felt towards tech that’s been felt across the globe in some countries more than others.
Across the globe, 57% of people today believe the pace of tech change is too fast (a level that’s been consistent since 2018). Nearly half of the people surveyed also believe that digital technologies are increasing the inequality gap between rich and poor, a sentiment seen most in SA (61%), China (61%) and France (57%).
Plus, even though social media is helping people stay connected, almost a fifth of people in the UK (17%) and US (14%) have found technology has caused them to feel more mentally stressed and harder to switch off.
For more, go to dentsuaegisnetwork.com/reports/techlash_or_techlove_asa.