Have modern conveniences really made our lives easier?

How did we survive ten years ago?

The world was a very different place 10 years ago. We had our first introduction to the iPhone, the last Harry Potter book was released and Evel Knievel still roamed the earth. The world was simpler, but also a lot less convenient, at least according to The Choosi Modern Choices Report.

Modern Choices infographic

With an abundance of modern conveniences at our fingertips – and a growing number at that – the research reveals that almost half of respondents (48.6%) feel the choice in products and services available to them has made their lives more convenient compared to ten years ago. And this is transforming us into faster decision makers, as two in five people (41.3%) say they now make choices quicker than they did a decade ago. In the third instalment of the Choosi research series, we delve into the minds of everyday Australians to explore modern conveniences and the impact they have on everyday Aussie’s lives.

A hindrance or help?

The jury is still out as to whether modern conveniences improve our quality of life or disrupt it. On the one hand, over three quarters of Australians (77.3%) claim modern conveniences and their accessibility make their lives easier, and a whopping seven in ten people (69.5%) feel they have the power to lower stress levels.

Contrary to this, a large majority of Aussie’s (87.3%) don’t translate the ‘easier’ life that modern conveniences can bring to a ‘better’ life. Similarly, almost one quarter (23.4%) of respondents feel that they are less happy from having access to modern conveniences, and around one fifth (18.2%) believe these bring more stress into their lives.

The votes are in

Always available to answer that embarrassing question or help us out with general trivia, search engines were ranked as one of the nation’s favourite modern conveniences for three in five respondents (60.3). However it was Wi-Fi that bagged the top spot, with almost two thirds (63.8%) of respondents identifying the innovation as the nation’s top modern convenience. Interestingly the ability to shop from the comfort of one’s couch came in third for over half of respondents (56.1%).

What might be surprising – or very expected depending on your dedication to the gym – is that wearable devices which have a duty to monitor health and fitness came out as the least preferred modern convenience (13%). When we delve further into the data this is most likely because over half of respondents (52.1%) admit to difficulties in committing to these devices long term. Furthermore, more than one third (39.3%) of Aussie’s value social media as their top modern innovation, which is perhaps unsurprising given the millions of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts in NSW alone.

Ethics vs Price

The Australian public can give themselves a pat on the back, as the survey illustrates that they are an ethical bunch. An overwhelming majority (91.5%) of respondents say having ethical alternative choices available to them as consumers is at least somewhat important, and one in five (20.8%) claim it is extremely important.

But before we throw an environmentally-friendly party for our ethical attitudes, we don’t wholly practice what we preach, especially when price is involved. More than two in five respondents (41.3%) say they would only purchase an ethical product over a non-ethical product if it has the same monetary value. And this stands across most categories including technology devices, coffee, furniture and home appliances too.

Leaders of tomorrow driving ethical shopping

It’s the Generation Y among us that are pioneering a shift towards ethical purchasing, and more than three quarters (77.3%) admit to being ethical shoppers at heart, at least some of the time. What’s rather amazing is that almost half of Gen Y respondents said they would still purchase ethical products over non-ethical products even if the price was higher (48.7%). Pre-Boomers however are the least likely group to partake in the trend, with just over half acknowledging ethical purchasing as something they would consider (56.4%).

The technology revolution and other modern innovations have impacted every one of our lives in an overwhelming way. Some are even reliant on it, and others, ironically, find modern conveniences inconvenient. Although they have enabled a new sense of ease, they bring with them new challenges and in some cases more stress. To answer our original question, do these modern conveniences genuinely make our lives easier, we’ll let you decide.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in our Choosi research series which we’ll be sharing with you soon.

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Posted: 15 Feb 2017

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