Brits’ attitudes towards technology and its impact on society has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To coincide with Loneliness Awareness Week, new research from Vodafone and consumer insight company Trajectory has assessed how those in the UK feel towards technology in the wake of the pandemic.
Due to lockdown and social distancing measures, many have had to turn to alternative methods of communication, with video conferencing platform Zoom reaching 300 million daily meeting participants in April, time spent using apps on Android devices increased 20% year-over-year in Q1, according AppAnnie, and Whatsapp seeing a 40% increase in usage in March.
Attitudes to technology improve amid pandemic
The research, which surveyed 1,500 people on how they have kept in touch with friends and family, indicates that for all age groups feel more positively towards technology compared with before the pandemic.
For example, for 24 to 38 year olds, 65% believe technology has a positive impact on society, up from 56% in January to March, with social media and messaging apps the most popular way to communicate.
Those over 72 saw the biggest change in how they view technology, with 71% believing technology has a positive impact on society, up nearly 20% compared with January to March. Phone calls are the most important way of staying in contact with others for 93% of this age group, and 45% have used video calls.
This follows the launch of The Great Tech Appeal, an initiative by Vodafone and children’s charity Barnardo’s to collect and distribute unused smartphones and tablets for underprivileged homes, with access to technology a key factor in staying connected at this time.
The Vodafone UK Foundation has also announced it will be offering Vodafone employees the opportunity to volunteer to Age UK’s Telephone Friendship Service, which matches volunteers with older people to provide companionship and commuinication.
“We’ve been working hard to help those who are vulnerable, lonely and isolated during this crisis,” commented Helen Lamprell, general counsel and external affairs director, Vodafone UK.
“Initiatives including The Great British Tech Appeal and joining Age UK’s Telephone Friendship Service are small steps in our goal to help to tackle isolation and loneliness, both now and in the future. It’s fantastic to see that all age groups think tech is having a positive impact on society during this time; and I’d encourage everyone to keep connecting to those who might be feeling isolated and alone, particularly in Loneliness Awareness Week.”