Technology is advancing at such a rate that cutting edge equipment is surpassed in a few short months. Many things that were a luxury a few years ago are considered essential now. Ofcom have conducted varied research into communication technology understanding and communication needs with some unsurprising results.
The study found that telephony services, on both mobile and landline, as well as internet access are now essential to our daily lives. It’s reported that 61 percent of people value a voice communication service highly for keeping in touch with friends and family as well as instant access to emergency services.
This mostly related to mobile communication services, however, home telephone service was very much linked to age. 61% of people over 75 need access to a landline, while just 12% of 16-24 year olds reported the same. Additionally, 59 percent of all people considered mobile voice or text messaging services essential.
The usage rate of voice communication are dying with the so called millennium generation. In the 14-15 age range only 5% of teenagers said they used voice communication over the phone or sent emails. In stark contrast to more than 50% of adults who use both.
However 57 percent of respondents valued internet access as a basic human essential in order to access information for education as well as entertainment. This again was very much dependent on age, 53% of 16-24 years olds valued it highly, and however no one over 75 rated it essential.
Costs Of Communication
New technology has become part of our lives, and something we cannot live without. This also comes with an extra cost. Having to factor in the monthly cost of home internet access and also a mobile phone contract can be a struggle to some people.
At the moment 95% of UK households have a home telephone line, with 82% also having an internet connection at home. However 86 percent of the consumer’s survey have never had a problem in meeting the costs and only 7 percent said they would have an internet connecting if the costs were more affordable.
The costs of being so reliant or engrossed in communication technology is not limited to monetary costs. Many lose or are restricted in health related activities or social interaction. Ofcom have uncovered that users in the UK spend more time using technology than sleeping.
The average user spent eight hours and 41 minutes using technology. This is defined as watching TV, listening to the radio, surfing the internet or using a mobile phone. In contrast they spent eight hours and 21 minutes asleep in bed.
Google’s Android Wear has been marketed at reducing the time you spend interacting with your devices. It attempts to just get information when you need it. Will this make a difference, or is interaction destined to be done through online services?