According to Gallup seven in 10 Americans own a tablet or smartphone -- technology that didn't even exist two decades ago. Gallup is doing a weeklong series investigating "how mobile technology is affecting politics, business, and well-being," of Americans. This specific poll was designed to determine how much mobile technology has changed respondents' personal, political and work behavior.
The first takeaway isn't surprising. Mobile technology increases interpersonal communication -- 62 percent responded that interpersonal communication was increased "a lot" due to mobile tech.
Other than interpersonal communication, the poll tackled what else mobile technology has a sizable impact on -- namely, business and politics. Asked if mobile tech affected work hours outside of the office, 32 percent responded that the technology had increased those hours "a lot."
And despite the conventional narrative that millennials are a lazy, entitled bunch, 37 percent of 18-29-year-olds polled say that mobile tech greatly increases their work hours. They are tied with Generation X. The same percent of 30-49-year-olds also respond that mobile technology increases their out-of-office work hours "a lot." Of those who are 50-64 years old, 25 percent said that new technology significantly increases their work hours.
A recent Mother Jones article dissecting the trend of work consuming out-of-office hours reported: "A 2012 survey by the Center for Creative Leadership found that 60 percent of smartphone-using professionals kept in touch with work for a full 13.5 hours per day, and then spent another 5 hours juggling work email each weekend."
Sadly, mobile tech isn't greatly increasing our political activities. Overall, only 17 percent said that the technology increased their political activity "a lot."
Breaking the numbers down by age wasn't more promising. Only 21 percent of those 18-29 said that mobile tech increased their political activity "a lot." Of those 20-49, only 19 percent said new mobile technology significantly increased political activity. The numbers declined as the ages increased: 14 percent of those 50-64, and 12 percent of those 65 and older.
The survey was conducted via telephone (both land line and cellphone) from March 21-23 of this year. Numbers were selected using a random dialer and a Spanish-speaking survey was available. The Gallup survey polled 1,505 adults (ages 18 and older) from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.