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How have computers impacted your life?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm taking a survey for a paper I'm writing for my anthropology class. The question I'm looking to answer is "How have computers impacted your life?"

Following are 10 questions. If you have 5 minutes, please help me out by responding with your answers. Acceptable choices are listed. I'm hoping to get at least 20 responses, so the more that answer the merrier.

Thanks in advance! At the end I'll tabulate the statistics and post the results.

--

Age
\t0-19
\t20-29
\t30-39
\t40-49
\t50-59
\t60-69
\t70+

Sex
\tMale
\tFemale

Questions
How much time do you spend on the computer per day?
0-30 min
31-60 min
1-2 hours
2-4 hours
4 hours+

If you no longer owned a computer, would your life change significatnly?
yes
no

What is the primary use of your computer?
email/internet/im
word processing
programming/db
media/photos/video/music
gaming
other

How have computers impacted your relationship with family?
improved
worsened
no effect

How have computers impacted your relationship with with friends?
improved
worsened
no effect

If you were offered enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, but you could never use a computer again, would you take the money?
yes
no

Would you take the money if you could still use computers?
yes
no

Do you encourage others to use computers?
yes
no

Do you use a computer at work?
yes
no
dont work

How old were you when you first started using computers?
0-19
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70+
post #2 of 11
Your questionnaire is not user friendly. The biggest impact that computers have made in my life is actually getting my parents into computers. They were getting ready to retire back in the mid 80's and we were afraid that my mom would be bored from lack of activities. She had been a nurse and spent most of her time either driving us to different activities (6 kids) or just working. My dad had tons of hobbies so we were not worried about him. Well we got them a computer and and set it up for them. At the time there were only BBS's and they found it fun and it started my mom into geneology. It also got them into taking computer classes, then other classes at the local university. Since they live close to Washington DC lots of geneology people would send messages to my mom to do research at the National Archives. This lead to her getting her first laptop. Around the mid 90"s they were referred by the kids as the techno-grandparents. They no longer take computer classes, they did take dos, and about every application class that was availible when they first came out. They still attend current issue classes. Since then all the kids have spread out and emails and video chats still keep everyone up-to-date with each other. My mom has published her geneology books and they travel several times a year always taking the laptop and a camera. So computers have made their retirement years a time to share their activities with others and keep them happy and active.

reg
post #3 of 11
There aren't a lot of people in the United States who aren't affected by computers. Computers are EVERYWHERE. In your car, your TV, your toothbrush, etc. Many of which are not transparent.
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post #4 of 11
The computer has changed everything. When I bought my first Mac SE, it was a work tool. I used it for word processing, stats, drawing figures and so on. I never imagined that the computer would become such an integral part of my life. The ways I use a computer today are so many today. In addition to my work-related applications, my Mac is used for email, Internet, chat, music and photography. Aside from personal communications, my Mac is my main interface with the outside world.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Age

Er...cannot compute!! But I'm interested in 18+ age groups.


Quote:
Sex

Yes please!

Quote:
Questions
How much time do you spend on the computer per day?
0-30 min
31-60 min
1-2 hours
2-4 hours
4 hours+

What has this got to do with sex??


Quote:
If you no longer owned a computer, would your life change significatnly?

I'm losing interest really fast.......this sounded so promising at the start...

Quote:
What is the primary use of your computer?

I'd be sssshocked! if my life changed significatnly. What's the significance of this question by the way?


Quote:
How have computers impacted your relationship with with friends?

I have no friends.

Quote:
If you were offered enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, but you could never use a computer again, would you take the money?
yes
no

Money, power......when are we going to get to the third?

Quote:
Would you take the money if you could still use computers?

Is this a form of IT favours??

Quote:
Do you encourage others to use computers?

I encourage others *wink* *wink*

Quote:
Do you use a computer at work?

I don't work....

Quote:
How old were you when you first started using computers?

When I started using Windows, I was 18years old. A year on Windows, I aged and became 63. When Windows 2000 came out I was then 45 and then when I upgraded to Windows XP, I was 69. Some people who started using Windows were 98. But after a year or two of crashes, they then hit stalemate. A friend of mine is 25 and recommended I switch to a powerbook which I did buy. Returning to an Apple powerbook, I have the zest of a Tiger 10.43 instead of the mess of an XP. On the last count, I was 2000 but now I'm back to 24


How did I do, huh? Huh?!
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by Ra
[B]

Age
\t0-19
\t20-29
\t30-39
\t40-49
\t50-59
\t60-69
\t70+

20-29 (21)

Quote:
Sex
\tMale
\tFemale

Female


Quote:
How much time do you spend on the computer per day?
0-30 min
31-60 min
1-2 hours
2-4 hours
4 hours+

4 hours+

Quote:
If you no longer owned a computer, would your life change significatnly?
yes
no

YES! I don't know what I'd do...

Quote:
What is the primary use of your computer?
email/internet/im
word processing
programming/db
media/photos/video/music
gaming
other

Email/Internet/IM

Quote:
How have computers impacted your relationship with family?
improved
worsened
no effect

Yep. We email all the time.

Quote:
How have computers impacted your relationship with with friends?
improved
worsened
no effect

Improved! I've made more friends online than I ever would on my own. Sad, really. :P

Quote:
If you were offered enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, but you could never use a computer again, would you take the money?
yes
no

HELL no!

Quote:
Would you take the money if you could still use computers?
yes
no

Absolutely.

Quote:
Do you encourage others to use computers?
yes
no

Yes.. preferably Macs.

Quote:
Do you use a computer at work?
yes
no
dont work

The only computer I use is a cash register.

Quote:
How old were you when you first started using computers?
0-19
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70+

0-19
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Polls closed! Will report back soon with results.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who answered and took this seriously! In total I got 48 responses. Here are the results; I'll have more interesting statistics when I analyze this further.

Age
\t0-19 \t(11)
\t20-29\t(21)
\t30-39\t(8)
\t40-49\t(6)
\t50-59\t(1)
\t60-69\t(1)
\t70+\t\t(0)
Sex
\tMale\t\t(39)
\tFemale\t(9)

How have computers impacted your life?

Questions
How much time do you spend on the computer per day?
0-30 min\t(0)
31-60 min\t(2)
1-2 hours\t(5)
2-4 hours\t(11)
4 hours+\t(30)

If you no longer owned a computer, would your life change significatnly?
yes\t(41)
no\t(7)

What is the primary use of your computer?
email/internet/im\t(13)
word processing\t(0)
programming/db\t(1)
media/photos/video/music\t(4)
gaming\t(1)
other\t(8)
more than 1 of the above\t(21)

How have computers impacted your relationship with family?
improved\t(18)
worsened\t(1)
no effect\t(29)

How have computers impacted your relationship with friends?
improved\t(32)
worsened\t(3)
no effect\t(13)

If you were offered enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, but you could never use a computer again, would you take the money?
yes\t(21)
no\t(27)

Would you take the money if you could still use computers?
yes\t(43)
no\t(5)

Do you encourage others to use computers?
yes\t(40)
no\t(8)

Do you use a computer at work?
yes\t(31)
no\t(3)
dont work\t(14)

How old were you when you first started using computers?
0-19 \t(41)
20-29\t(4)
30-39\t(3)
40-49\t(0)
50-59\t(0)
60-69\t(0)
70+ \t(0)
post #9 of 11
Age
\t0-19

Sex
\tMale

Questions
How much time do you spend on the computer per day?
4 hours+

If you no longer owned a computer, would your life change significatnly?
yes

What is the primary use of your computer?
email/internet/im
media/photos/video/music
gaming

How have computers impacted your relationship with family?
no effect

How have computers impacted your relationship with with friends?
improved

If you were offered enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, but you could never use a computer again, would you take the money?
no

Would you take the money if you could still use computers?
yes

Do you encourage others to use computers?
yes

Do you use a computer at work?
dont work

How old were you when you first started using computers?
0-19
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm here with (the interesting) results! (Sorry it took so long)

A total of 48 people answered the survey - 39 male, 9 female.

Ages:
0-19: 11
20-29: 21
30-39: 8
40-49: 6
50-59: 1
60-69: 1
70+: 0

Usage per day:
4+ hours: 62.5%
2-4 hours: 22.9%
1-2 hours: 10.2%
30-60 minutes: 4.16%
0-30 minutes: 0%

Based on answers to different questions I was able to classify all users as either casual, passionate, or intermediate users of computers.
Passionate: 29%
Casual: 12.5%
Intermediate: 58.5%

Distribution of passionate users:
age 0-29: 71%
age 30+: 29%

Distribution of older users:
Passionate: 25%
Casual/Intermediate: 75%

Here's a relevant excerpt from my paper:
Quote:
Twenty-two people responded that they would not give up computers for money, but if they could have the money and continue using computers, then they would take it. This is roughly 46% of respondents. These people therefore like money (most people do), but value computers even more. Of this 46%, thirteen spend four or more hours on computers per day. This is 27% of respondents. Of this 27%, eleven encourage others to use computers. This is 23% of all respondents. So 23% of respondents comprise a group that would not trade computers for money, spends 4 or more hours per day on computers, and encourages others to use computers as well. Thus, this 23% is highly passionate about computing. There are also three respondents who spend 4 or more hours per day on computers, encourage others to use computers, but would not accept the money based on principle. It is safe say these three respondents are passionate about computing as well. This makes for a total of 14 respondents, or 29%, who are passionate about computing.

Of the thirty-four non-passionate computer users, seven said their lives would not significantly change if they no longer used computers. This is 14.5% of respondents. Of those 14.5%, six would give up computers for money. This is 12.5%. These are clearly casual users. The remaining twenty-eight respondents, or 58.5%, that are neither passionate nor casual I have labeled intermediate users.

Of the fourteen respondents who are passionate about computers, ten are younger than thirty. This means that 71% of passionate users are young. Also worth noting, is that of the same fourteen respondents, twelve started using computers before the age of twenty. So 85.7% of respondents who are passionate about computers began using them at an early age.

Out of all respondents, sixteen are age thirty or older. Of these sixteen, only four are passionate users. Thus 75% of respondents age thirty or older are casual or intermediate computer users.

and some relevant conclusions:
Quote:
So what can we make of all this data? The results of my survey show a couple of things. First, the distribution of users according to the levels of their computer usage follows a near bell curve if taken on an ordinal scale. This implies that the majority of computer users are indeed intermediate users, and that both casual and passionate users represent two extremes. Computers are thus not penetrated into our lifestyle to the amount that they are completely necessary. However, they are penetrated into our lifestyle enough that they are extremely useful. Second, the distribution of passionate users is skewed towards younger individuals and individuals who learned to use computers at a younger age. Thus there is a trend toward computers becoming more integrated into our lifestyle since younger individuals are more likely to be heavy computer users. Third, although most older users are more of the casual or intermediate type, there are still some older, passionate users of computers. This shows that even individuals who may have not grown up with computers are becoming passionate users as well.

and lastly, problems I noticed with my survey:
Quote:
In conducting my research, I discovered many flaws in my survey. First, I assumed that everyone owns a computer. Obviously this is not the case. I was able to circumvent the issue by only surveying those people who actually own a computer, but to truly answer my question of how computers have affected peoples lives, I should not have done that. Second, the questions about improving or worsening relations with family and friends did not show any obvious trend as I had hoped, and ultimately proved wasted since I was unable to use them. Third, my sample of forty-eight people is hardly representative of any real-world population. Thus, although my survey produced some great results, it can hardly be trusted as representative of any real-world trends.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!
post #11 of 11
I found this survey and resulting paper excerpts to be very intriguing! This was such a cool idea, and I was so happy to be a part of it!

Golly, young people who are passionate about computing? Wonder if I'm in that lovely group...

Thanks for this, Ra. Well done!
Resident Furry, Animation student, and Steve Jobs fan.
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