Technology and Society 

immediacy of societyThe 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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Mobile Usage is Up

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).

The Most Distracted Americans

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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