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Poll Shows Brits Still Struggling With Technology

Gordon Kelly


If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the rash of technology news to come out of CES last week don't worry. You're already reading this, which suggests you're a lot more clued up than most people...

A recent poll of 1,000 UK residents conducted by Lewis PR found that we're still a depressingly technophobic bunch at large and deserve to have our PCs and mobile phones ripped from our grasp. Highlights include:

  • 50 per cent were unable to identify Steve Jobs (10 per thought he was a trade union leader, 20 per cent a Division Two footballer and 20 per cent hadn't a clue)

  • 11 per cent could not name a social networking site

  • 25 per cent thought World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee was the head of MI5 (five per cent opted for Artic explorer, five per cent for the first British astronaut in space)

  • Six per cent thought a VHD - virtual hard disk - was a sexually transmitted disease

  • 10 per cent thought a wireless dongle was a sex toy

  • Four per cent considered phishing to be an angling method used by Eskimos
More positively 88 per cent knew who Bill Gates was, even if two per cent thought he was one of the Great Train robbers. Daftness aside, there is a serious point here.

"Technology is playing an increasingly dominant role in our lives but it is still striking how little is known about some of its key figures, gadgets and aspects," said Lewis PR's Eb Adeyeri. "Although many people knew the correct answers, a substantial minority had absolutely no idea. There is a digital divide in Britain between those who understand the importance of technology and those who are either not interested or frightened by it."

Lewis correctly concludes the use of geek speak needs to end with technology made clearer and more accessible to avoid frightening people away. After all, if this is how badly the UK does imagine the results in less established countries...

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to rob a train with Bill Gates.


Lewis PR

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