Who’s Keeping Up With New Technology? : Attitudes: Though many feel left behind, more than half in survey are satisfied with their computer knowledge.

From Associated Press

Almost half of U.S. adults and a majority of those over the age of 35 say the advance of technology is leaving them behind, according to an Associated Press poll.

The poll shows widespread agreement that computers and electronic devices have made life easier, and 57% of the respondents say they are satisfied with their level of technical know-how. But even among the satisfied, three in 10 people say they feel left behind.

Of those who say they are not keeping up, half have used a computer at a job and 31% have used a computer in their home. Two-thirds of that group are dissatisfied with their level of technical know-how.


What they say they are most lacking to better keep up with technology is knowledge (36%), money (24%) and time (21%). A smaller share, 16%, say they lack the desire to keep up.

By comparison, those who think they are technologically adept are most likely to cite money as what they need to continue to keep up.

Most of those in the poll, 59%, say they have used a computer at a job, and 42% have used one at home.


The most dramatic variation in the results is among those who say computers and electronics have made life easier--63% overall, 71% of those under age 45, and 35% of those over 65. Only 9% think electronics made life harder; the rest think it’s the same.

A majority, 53%, say they are keeping up with technology, and 46% say they are being left behind. Fewer than 1% are uncertain. Just over half of those past age 35 feel left behind.

The groups most likely to say they are keeping up are men, those with family incomes over $50,000 a year, people in metropolitan areas and, of course, people who have used computers.


A majority of respondents under 65 have used a computer at work, but the percentage who have used a computer at home varies from 57% of those under 35 to 34% of those ages 55 to 64 and 11% of those over 65.

To avoid excluding computer enthusiasts who tie up their phones with on-line services, the poll had up to four callbacks.

The Associated Press poll on technological change was taken Feb. 9 through 13 among a random sample of 1,002 adult Americans in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. Interviewing was done by telephone by ICR Survey Research Group of Media, Pa., part of AUS Consultants.

The results were weighted to represent the population by key demographic factors such as age, sex, region and education.

No more than one time in 20 should chance variations in the sample cause the results to vary by more than 3 percentage points from the answers that would be obtained if all Americans were polled. This margin of sampling error is larger for responses of subgroups, such as age categories.

There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions.