A new study found that while 85 percent of American adults use the Internet or cell phones -- and most use both -- the percent of adults who say that they exploit the connectivity or interactivity of modern technology stands at less than 10 percent.

Telephone interviews with 4,000 adults formed the basis for the study commissioned by the nonprofit Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The report categorizes Americans based on the amount of information and communication technologies they possess, how they use those technologies, and their corresponding attitudes about the role of technology in their lives.

“Two groups of technology users have a kind of ‘tech-gadget’ remorse,” said John B. Horrigan, associate director at Pew and author of the report. “They have more than a fair share of digital appliances. But they aren’t all that satisfied with the flood of information or pervasive connectivity comes along with these communication goods and services.”

The report refers to those groups as “Lackluster Veterans” (8 percent of the population), and “Connected But Hassled” (10 percent of the population). The former is comprised of long-time and frequent online users who don’t like the extra availability that comes with technology, and the latter group expressed worries about information overload and doesn’t see technology helping their personal productivity.

Of the report’s 10 categories, those containing the great percentage of adults were the “Light But Satisfied” and “Off the Network” segments, both with 15 percent. The first group accesses some technology, but it does not play a central role in their daily lives. The second group tends to be populated by older adults without cell phones or Internet connectivity.
The full report is available at www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/213/report_display.asp.

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