Users are ‘overwhelmed’ by communications tech

Technology anger

One in three people feel "overwhelmed" by modern communications technology, according to a study from the University of Cambridge.

Texting, email and social networking is just too much for that third, who feel the need to escape such technologies, the BT-sponsored survey found.

The research uncovered little disparity between different age groups, as 38 per cent of 10-18 year olds said they were overwhelmed, compared to 34 per cent of the 25-34 age bracket.

"There is much discussion about whether communications technology is affecting us for the better or worse," said Professor John Clarkson, director of the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge.

"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."

It appears face-to-face communication is still highly valued, including amongst youngsters. Two thirds of all those surveyed named face-to-face conversation they favourite way to interact.

The answer for those overwhelmed by technology is to manage their use of it more effectively, the research suggests. BT has launched a "five-a-day" Balanced Communications Diet to help.

"The research revealed that technology itself is not the problem," said Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail.

"Compare it to food. To stay healthy, you need to eat a balanced diet. The same is true when it comes to using technology; you need to find a balance which works for you."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.