It seems that we have a love/hate relationship with technology.
We often wonder how we survived without new technologies, while we curse them when they fail or when they cause us to become addicted to them.
A study by USC's Annenberg Center shows that 72 percent of us welcome the opportunity to try new technologies, whether hardware, software or digital like social media sites and apps. And 74 percent agree that technology lets us get more accomplished in less time. I couldn't imagine conducting business these days without my computer, which saves me the cost of a secretary, or email, which lets me be connected and share information instantly with clients and media. I can't remember the last time I sent a news release out by snail mail.
Technology has many other benefits. Forty-five percent of the survey's respondents said technology enables them to have more time with family, and 55 percent say they prefer to work remotely from home. Universal connectivity also means we can work not only wherever we want, but also whenever we want. It's not at all unusual to see work-related emails coming in with time stamps way beyond the normal work day. Technology lets us work when it suits us. (Well, those of us who are not in retail or, say, doctors.)
There's a real down side to this, of course. Thirty-one percent say technology has made it more difficult to keep work and personal life separate, and 26 percent they feel they are more stressed because they are always on call due to technology. (I guess they never tried turning off their cell phones or simply not answering every call or text as soon as it comes in.)
Another poll from Harris Interactive shows people are finding technology increasingly distracting -- 69 percent, up from 65 percent last year. And the number of people who say technology improves their lives has slipped by 10 percent, although a solid majority still believe technology has helped them. But that percentage is 71, down from 78 percent a year ago.
So clearly, we love our technology. But we often hate what it does to us.
That said, I pity the fool who tries to take our cell phones or internet away from us.