Poll: 70% Concerned Americans Have Become Too Dependent on Computers, Electronic Devices

Americans are concerned that, in today’s technological age, we may have become too dependent on electronic devices such ascomputers and calculators.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of adults are concerned that Americans have become too dependent on electronic devices, with 41% who are Very Concerned. Twenty-eight percent (28%) are not worried, but that includes just four percent (4%) who are Not At All Concerned about our dependence on these devices.

It has been estimated that roughly 20% of Americans use smartphones and 80% own a computer. However, just 26% of Americans admit that they spend too much time using the Internet, computers and mobile communications devices. This is roughly the same as in late January. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say they do not spend too much time using such technology.

But 75% of adults said at that time that young children spend too much time on computers and other electronic devices.

Adults under 50 are more likely to say they overuse technology than those who are older.

Adults with children at home and higher-income adults are also more likely to feel they spend too much time using the Internet and other related technologies.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 15-16, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Americans say they still own a print version of the dictionary, but when it comes to travel and leisure, most adults tend to go online.

Just 26% say that when they go somewhere, they use a map for directions. Thirty-seven percent (37%) go online to sites like MapQuest.com or Google Maps to find directions, while 31% use an electronic Global Positioning System (GPS) in their vehicle.

When Americans go to the movies or go out to eat, 46% turn to the Internet for information like movie listings or reservations. Twenty-eight percent (28%) look in the local newspaper, while 13% call for information.

While newspapers and broadcast outlets struggle to survive in the Internet age,two-out-of-three Americans (67%) feel they are more informed today than they were 10 years ago. Just eight percent (8%) consider themselves less informed these days, while 22% think their level of knowledge is about the same.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering several ways to help the struggling newspaper industry, but Americans strongly reject several proposed taxes to keep privately-owned newspapers going. But 84% oppose a three-percent (3%) tax on monthly cell phone bills to help newspapers and traditional journalism.

Automakers are getting in on the computer craze as well. For the driver already juggling a cell phone and a burger as he’s heading down the highway, it’s the next big thing: An Internet-connected dashboard computer. The perfect front-seat addition, eh? Not according to 87% of Americans. That’s the number who oppose allowing people to use an Internet-connected computer while they are driving.