Tech is changing fast. Who feels left behind?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
February 24, 2021, 5:54 PM UTC

As one world leader recently said, the speed at which technology is changing will never be slower than it is now, and YouGov research across 17 markets shows just how many consumers already feel left behind.

Roughly a third of consumers interviewed say they feel they can’t keep up with the pace of change in the tech world, compared to about a quarter who disagree with the notion.

The feeling of being left behind is particularly acute in Mexico, where 45% of adults agree they feel they can’t keep up with the pace of change in consumer technology. A similar rate of respondents in India (44%) and the United Arab Emirates (43%) feel the same way.

Those in Germany (29%), the United Kingdom (26%) and the United States (26%) are the least likely to share the feeling among the markets in which YouGov conducted research.

As more consumer goods in our lives become “smart” – connected to the internet with some degree of autonomy – marketers must keep in mind these potential feelings of being left behind. Recent research conducted by Columbia Business School specifically around autonomous shopping tools recommended marketers portray autonomous technologies as “human and individual-focused,” to help consumers overcome any resistance to adopt.

Looking at YouGov data across age groups reveals that even some young consumers feel left out and it’s the consumers aged 35-54 who are less likely to feel they can’t keep up with the changes in consumer technology, compared to other age groups.

Our research also shows slight gender differences. Among men, 33% agree they can’t keep with tech changes, compared to 36% of women.

Methodology: Research was conducted in January 2021 across multiple markets. Sample sizes were between 505 and 2,029. All data is nationally representative except for data from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico and India.

Image: Getty