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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 7:47 EDT

One In Three Sees Technology As Overwhelming

July 6, 2011

One out of three people have felt “overwhelmed” by technology, according to an international study conducted by Cambridge University.

Communications technology – which includes texting, email and social networking – has taken over so much of our daily lives that many people are ready to reduce the amount of time they spend using their phones and computers, the study sponsored by British Telecom says.

“Communications technology is changing the way that society interacts and now, with the explosion in personal communications devices, Wi-Fi and increasing broadband speeds, is a great time to start charting this change,” Professor John Clarkson of Cambridge University said in a statement.

Researchers surveyed 1,269 people. Results showed that 42% of people surveyed already reduced their time spent on social networking sites, and a fifth said that they had cut down on how many texts they send out. Similarly, about 19 percent said that they tried to cut the number of emails they send out.

The study also showed that 34 percent, or one in three, people between the ages of 25 and 34 felt overwhelmed by the amount of communications technology available to them, and 38 percent of people under the age of 18 felt the same way.

In addition, young people (about 64 percent) were found to prefer face-to-face communication over digital communication, similar to 65 percent of adults who felt the same way.

However, those who felt overwhelmed by technology were reported to feel less satisfied in other areas of their lives, while those who had control over the new technologies generally felt happier.

“There is much discussion about whether communications technology is affecting us for the better or worse,” Professor Clarkson wrote.

“The research has shown that communications technology is seen by most as a positive tool but there are examples where people are not managing usage as well as they could be – it is not necessarily the amount but the way in which it is used.”

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