Technology is making the world feel younger, healthier and more emotionally connected, suggesting a growing relationship between technological innovation and wellbeing, reveals new research released on Thursday by Lenovo.
The study, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals from around the globe, not only found 40 per cent of global respondents feel "a lot" or "somewhat" more youthful thanks to technology, but on average it made them feel younger by 11 years.
This rings most true in China, where 70 per cent of Chinese respondents said technology made them feel more youthful, which could be perhaps due to technologies ability to build connections between generations, especially those who might have once felt disconnected from tech-savvy youngsters. For example, grandparents are now able to better communicate with their grandchildren via smart technology due to its growing ubiquity and ease of use.
The research suggests that this sentiment is felt the world over, across genders and ages.
It generally revealed that many older generations think using technology helps them to connect better with younger people as well as feel livelier and more knowledgeable. This is especially evident when it comes to the role smart devices (from PCs, tablets to smart home assistants and more) play in terms of relationships with family and friends. When asked to compare technology today to those of 20 years ago for giving them the ability to feel connected to what is going on in the lives of the people they care about, 65 per cent answered it's "getting better", while 75 per cent also said technology is improving their ability to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away.
The global research also revealed that tech is helping people when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, offering emotional gains, particularly in parents. Over three-quarters (78 per cent) of working parents stated the ever-connected nature of technology helps them feel more emotionally connected to their children, even when they are away from home.
An even larger portion (83 per cent) of working parents agreed that emerging technologies are making it easier for them to feel confident that their kids are safe and secure while they are at work.
Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents in the survey stated they were optimistic about the future of technology and the role tech can play in our lives and society, especially in wellbeing, with 67 per cent believing devices are currently having a positive impact on the ability to improve their overall health. And that's hardly surprising, considering 84 per cent also said tech has empowered them to make improvements in their lives overall.
The recognition that tech is helping to improve the quality of life could also be a result of the time it tends to save people. Half of respondents across all markets (50 per cent) feel their smart devices save them 30 minutes or more a day by helping them do something faster or more efficiently. Similarly, over half (57 per cent) agreed smart devices, such as computers and smart home devices like smart displays and smart clocks, are making them more productive and efficient, the highest perceptions of which were seen in China at 82 per cent and India at 81 per cent.
In terms of personal health, 36 per cent of respondents said smart devices have made it easier for them to access health care providers and make doctor's appointments, and a further 39 per cent of those under 60 years of age stated modern tech makes it easier for seniors to contact emergency services.
A 23-year-old woman from India, for example, expressed her belief that the technological advancement of medical science is helping people better fight diseases and potentially cure them. "Lives of people are better off nowadays because they know ways of curing such health hazards," she said. "Through technology, increasing life span of an individual is very much possible."
Psychologist and founder of Digital Nutrition Jocelyn Brewer said: "Keeping up with advancements in technology can feel like a full-time job, but it can have positive impacts on people's sense of themselves and their age. While older people are stereotyped as being techno-phobic or inept at staying on trend, this research points to the fact that maintaining currency in the digital space helps people feel more youthful, more connected to young people and youth culture, which in turn is a social currency for feeling valued and a sense of belonging or in 'the know'.
"It's this tech knowledge that drives the perception of feeling younger, without having to revisit the angst of our adolescence."
"Staying connected to the people we care about is a wonderful feature of technology. And while it is no replacement for face-to-face connection, it is a valuable supplement to communication for those who might be geographically divided. Parents can manage a range of responsibilities and provide increasing appropriate autonomy to teenagers through a variety of communication tools, reminders and systems that can help take the struggle out of the daily juggle."
Dilip Bhatia, vice-president of user and customer experience at Lenovo, said: "There is a growing relationship between innovation and wellbeing as smart technologies are not only helping people globally to stay more connected but aiding wellbeing in the form of compassion and empathy by building better connections between them."
"Technology has a transformational ability to unite people across generations and walks of life around the world, with the potential to help them to live healthier and more fulfilling lives."
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