"This Digital Life' surveyed the opinions of 7,213 people in 19 markets and discovered that 55% of respondents believe technology is robbing us of our privacy, while more than half of millennials worry that a family member or friend will post inappropriate personal information about them online.
"Our probe into technology use revealed a number of emerging concerns," says Tom Morton, chief strategy officer, Euro RSCG New York and co-chief strategy officer Euro RSCG North America. "First is the fear that social media and online data collection are chiseling away at our right to privacy. A majority worry that technology is robbing us of our privacy, and 6 in 10 think that people are wrong to share so much of their personal thoughts and experiences online. This isn’t an outsider’s or laggard’s concern: Two-thirds of millennials believe that their generation has no sense of personal privacy."
"At the same time," says Morton, "people worry that hyper-connectivity is actually making us feel less connected. More than half the sample worry that digital communication is weakening human-to-human bonds."
A return to technological dystopianism, this time cloaked in post-technological utilitarianist privacy fears among "Millennials" (which may or may not include my own age group)? Some of the data could be misleading. For instance, 34% of Millennials "say social networking is making them less satisfied with their own lives". The age range of this fuzzy demographic group isn't mentioned, but it still sounds like a leading question. Less satisfied than what? Than before social media? How many young people can remember/think that way? If I had to imagine the impact of the WWW on my prior level of satisfaction in life, I'd have to return to age 10 to wax existential. Or do they mean less satisfied than disconnecting from social media today? Likewise, the possible framing of questions in terms of fear and/or self-loathing can skew results. I would like to see this survey conducted across a broader age spectrum of web users and not necessarily from a marketing/brand perspective, but it offers some interesting data nonetheless.
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