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January 9, 2010

Food, Water, Shelter, Computers?

Why are younger Americans less likely to deem computers a luxury?

Perhaps it’s not surprising that roughly three-quarters (73%) of all American adults believe that computers are a necessity.  So let’s up the ante by asking a tougher question: Who do you think is more likely to believe that computers are a necessity, younger or older Americans?

In a refutation of conventional wisdom, older Americans are actually more likely than younger Americans to believe that computers are a necessity.

While this trend is initially surprising, it shouldn’t be.  It’s just a part of the research we’ve done mapping the technological worldviews of different generations of Americans.  For older Americans, computers are much like a toaster or a television – they’re a specific device that one purchases if they have the means and inclination. For them, to not own a computer is to be severed from the technological world.

However, for younger Americans computers and technology are a natural part of their environment – owning one isn’t a problem since entre’ into the tech world can be had anywhere.