The Technologies Americans Can and Can’t Live Without

Increasingly, we can part with our TVs.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Feb. 27, 2014, 10:24 a.m.

Tele­vi­sion, In­ter­net, or cell phone. You have to choose one, and only one. The rest will forever be gone from your life. Which of these ubi­quit­ous mod­ern tech­no­lo­gies could you least eas­ily live without?

In­creas­ing, Amer­ic­ans are say­ing the In­ter­net.

(Pew Re­search)In a re­cent poll, the Pew Re­search Cen­ter found that the In­ter­net was the tech­no­logy people would find hard­est to part with, fol­lowed by cell phones, email, and then, tele­vi­sion. While 53 per­cent of re­spond­ents said the In­ter­net would be “very hard” to part with, just 34 per­cent said the same of tele­vi­sion.

While this doesn’t spell the death of tele­vi­sion out­right — 97 per­cent of house­holds still own at least one, at least as re­por­ted in 2011; snd con­sumers are not faced with an either/or choice on the tech­no­lo­gies; most of us have both) — it does sug­gest that a fu­ture with a tra­di­tion­al tele­vi­sion in every home is not a giv­en. Es­pe­cially be­cause the young are some of the most tuned-out tele­vi­sion watch­ers.

“Mil­len­ni­als make up 50 per­cent of No-TV house­holds re­ly­ing in­stead on their smart­phones and laptops to watch con­tent,” Nielsen re­por­ted in a re­cent pa­per on mil­len­ni­als. That could be be­cause mil­len­ni­als are less wealthy than their par­ents and opt out of pay­ing cable bills. But it also could be that young people don’t value tele­vi­sion as they once did. They’re much more likely than their older coun­ter­parts to watch TV and video con­tent on You­Tube (in­dex of 179; with the av­er­age house­hold hav­ing an in­dex of 100), Hulu (155) and Net­flix (145).”

An­oth­er reas­on the In­ter­net is so es­sen­tial is be­cause it works it­self in­to all as­pects of life. Sixty one per­cent of those who said the Web would be hard to give up said it was es­sen­tial to their work. Plus, “67% of In­ter­net users say their on­line com­mu­nic­a­tion with fam­ily and friends has gen­er­ally strengthened those re­la­tion­ships, while 18% say it gen­er­ally weak­ens those re­la­tion­ships,” the re­port states.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
6 hours ago

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Variety Looks at How Michelle Obama Has Leveraged Pop Culture
7 hours ago

“My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen," says Michelle Obama in a new profile in Variety. "So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.” According to writer Ted Johnson, Mrs. Obama has leveraged the power of pop culture far beyond her predecessors. "Where are the people?" she asks. "Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”

New York Times, Other News Organizations Hacked
8 hours ago

The FBI and other US security agencies are currently investigating a series of computer breaches found within The New York Times and other news organizations. It is expected that the hacks were carried out by individuals working for Russian intelligence. It is believed that these cyber attacks are part of a "broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said."

NLRB: Graduate Students Can Unionize
8 hours ago

In a 3-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Columbia University graduate students, granting them the legal right to unionize. The petition was brought by a number of teaching assistants enrolled in graduate school. This decision could pave the way for thousands of new union members, depending on if students at other schools nationwide wish to join unions. A number of universities spoke out in opposition to this possibility, saying injecting collective bargaining into graduate school could create a host of difficulties.

Cruz Approval Ratings Underwater
10 hours ago

Following Texas Senator Ted Cruz's controversial decision not to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, instead telling voters to "vote (their) conscience," a new poll out today shows that his approval ratings have sunk. The poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 39 percent of Texans approve of the job Cruz is doing, compared to 48 percent who don't approve. Additionally, despite winning the GOP primary in the state, the poll found that if the primary was held today, Trump would garner 52 percent of support to just 38 percent for Cruz.