Despite being immersed in technology, many consumers are coming to both fear and resent it.
One of our 10 Trends for 2011 was Eat, Pray, Tech: the idea that high-tech devices and services (and the skills to use them) are becoming as integral to people as food and clothing. Increasingly, however, we’re starting to question how readily we’ve welcomed technology into every corner of our lives. So we’re Raging Against the Machine—one of our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond—and starting to both fear and resent technology.
In a 2013 Intel study conducted in seven countries, as many as 61 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds said technology makes people less human; 59 percent also said society relies on technology too much. Our own research found that almost two-thirds of British and American Millennials fear that technology is taking over our lives, a sentiment shared across generations. In our November survey of 1,003 U.S. and U.K. adults conducted using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, more than 8 in 10 said we’re losing some important human qualities by spending so much time immersed in technology, with Millennials slightly less inclined to agree. But Millennials are more likely than the older generations to resent the fact that they can never truly turn off because of technology.
As we note in our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond report, as our love-hate relationship with technology evolves, brands will have to enable and accommodate high-tech lives while also emphasizing the human touch and, where appropriate, embracing the analog world.