Wi-Fi® technology is now central to how we connect and bond with family and friends

Date: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 18:05 Source: Wi-Fi Alliance press department

Wi-Fi Alliance® poll: Two-thirds of millennials spend more time using Wi-Fi than watching television
Wi-Fi® technology is now central to how we connect and bond with family and friends Image credited to Toshiba

Wi-Fi technology is fundamentally changing the way families and friends communicate, and Wi-Fi-enabled devices have replaced television as the "gathering place" for both Americans and those abroad, according to results from a new poll conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
The survey, which gathered responses from more than 1,000 millennials (respondents ages 17 to 29) in the U.S. and 400 millennials in China, Japan and Korea, shows a shift in how we connect with others - both technologically and emotionally.  
The results illustrate that many respondents find it difficult to keep up with relationships without Wi-Fi access; 64 percent of U.S. respondents and 89 percent of respondents in China said they agreed it would be nearly impossible to maintain relationships with many friends without Wi-Fi; 44 percent of American respondents and 82 percent of Chinese respondents said the same would apply to family relationships.
For young adults, Wi-Fi-enabled digital devices are now more central to life than television.  Two-thirds of respondents in the U.S. and four-fifths of those in China reported they spend more time on Wi-Fi than watching television.  Almost half of U.S. respondents (44 percent) first used Wi-Fi when they were 17 or younger. Almost 70 percent of respondents spend four or more hours on a Wi-Fi connection daily.  In another telling statistic, 84 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 93 percent in Korea were more likely to carry a handheld digital device than a watch.
"These polling results are a strong reflection of both the social and technological orientation of young adults around the world today," commented Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates.    "Interactive digital devices are fundamental to how millennials spend their time and connect with family and friends, and have become more important than older, more passive forms of entertainment like television."
"Now more than ever, Wi-Fi is crucial to how people connect at home and on the go," said Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance.  "The social element of Wi-Fi technology is continuing to come to the fore with its inclusion in a wide array of mobile devices, and these polling results are a strong reflection of that trend."
Wi-Fi is seen as a necessity rather than a luxury among the survey respondents.  Eighty-seven percent of U.S. respondents and 74 percent of those in China reported they need Wi-Fi access in schools and universities, and more than half of U.S. respondents also cited it as a necessity in restaurants and shopping areas.  And lest there be any question about how indispensable Wi-Fi has become, 75 percent of U.S. respondents, 64 percent of those in Korea, and 87 percent of China respondents reported they would be grumpier without Wi-Fi access for a week than in a week without coffee or tea.

Methodology note: The online survey of 1,000 respondents ages 18-29 in the United States and 400 or more respondents in the same age group in China, Korea, and Japan was conducted in August 2010 by Wakefield Research on behalf of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total population of adults aged 18 - 29 within the four listed countries. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.  For the China sample in the multi-country survey, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result in each country does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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