The efficiency that technology affords us is undeniable. Yet around-the-clock connectivity and instant access to information is distracting millions of Americans, and having a deep impact on long-term planning.
Nearly one in three (31%) Americans say they find the immediacy of society today (email, texting, instant messaging, etc.) distracting, and an alarming 69% say the fast pace makes it hard to stick to long term goals. While that’s a slight decrease from the 74% who said the same in 2011, it’s still a considerable majority.
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Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say the immediacy of having electronic devices is efficient both in the short-term and long-term, while one-third (34%) say it’s efficient only in the near-term. Given those efficiencies, it’s no surprise that usage is up.
- More than one in three (36%) people say their usage of electronic/mobile devices (smartphones, cell phones, tablets, etc.) has increased over the past year.
- That number is even higher for Gen Y (43%), men (39%), and parents (43% with kids under 18; 41% with kids over 18).
Interestingly, older generations seem to be struggling more than their younger peers when it comes to balancing the pace of today’s society with focusing on long-term goals; but younger people report higher levels of distraction overall:
- Majority of Boomers (74%) and Matures (75%) say the pace of society makes it harder for them to stick with long-term goals, whereas only 61% of Gen Y and 63% of Gen X say the same.
- 35% of Gen Y and 36% of Gen X say that the immediacy of society today is distracting, whereas only 30% of Boomers and 24% of Matures say the same.
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