Over the past decade, the United States has experienced a “Digital Revolution” that has seen technologies like social media and smartphones transition from the domain of tech enthusiasts to the living rooms, cars, and pockets of nearly every household in America.
Americans are enthusiastic tech users and consumers – 69% think it’s necessary to have the latest devices – and most believe their quality of life has improved because of this technology. Most believe that the benefits of these advances have been shared equitably across the country, and Americans think that positive effects have been felt by small businesses and community organizations.
Yet, many have mixed feelings about the overall impact of the Digital Revolution. Some question whether new innovations and inventions create more jobs or make them redundant. Americans are divided about whether the benefits are realized here in the U.S.A. or in countries like China where much of the manufacturing takes place. Many others are concerned about the impact of these technologies on their privacy, and on America’s young people.
As consumer and communications technologies advance, Americans are doing more online shopping, they’re spending increased time engaging with their neighbors and community groups online, and they’re using social media to share information about local events. Still, with all this connectivity, Americans are craving a local, personal presence from businesses and community organizations. Personal references and a demonstration of local community support are still highly important. And, getting out and volunteering time for a cause is seen as more impactful than simply sharing information through social media.