Larry Rosin: What Hath Technology Wrought?

This guest column is contributed by Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research. It was first published on The Infinite Dial blog.

Over the course of the next several weeks Edison Research and Triton Digital will be unveiling the results of our annual Infinite Dial survey.  The Infinite Dial results are based on “gold standard” sampling techniques that truly represent the population of America ages 12 and older.

This study, which has been tracked since 1998, has become one of the most looked-to sources of information on how technology is changing.  So this year, we inserted a question about how Americans feel about these changes.  The results are below:

As you can see, well more than half of respondents say the changes are at least ‘somewhat positive’ and only 14% say they have been negative.  There is a sizable group (25%) that feels the impact has been equally positive and negative.  Interestingly, there are few differences by demographic groups — although there is a bit more negativity among older Americans and among the less-educated.

There is endless ink spilled on how technology is destroying creativity, or eliminating our ability to think for ourselves, or (most bizarrely) hurting productivity by creating so many distractions.  These were things said, of course, about every previous change in technology, such as television or even the advent of books.  All in all, most Americans think the technology innovations of the last ten years, which would include such things as smartphones, podcasts, social media and streaming audio, have been a good thing.

How have these items grown in the last year?  Watch the Webcast on March 4 at 2pm eastern.  To register for this event click here.

Larry Rosin