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What we’ve learned about Americans’ views of technology during the time of COVID-19

Summary: Pew Research Center has been studying attitudes about technology in the U.S. since the pandemic began. Key findings include the following:

1. The internet has been important or essential for 87% of Americans, with higher rates among those under age 50 and college graduates. As a corollary, nearly half of Americans indicated that a disruption to their internet or cellphone service would be a big problem. 64% say that phone and online contact is not a sufficient substitute for face-to-face interaction.

2. Roughly 30% of broadband and cellphone users worry about their ability to pay their bills. However, more than 60% do not believe that the government has the responsibility to ensure access to wireless and broadband service for all citizens.

3. With the shift to online learning, there are growing concerns about access to technology (i.e. lack of a computer and/or wireless internet) creating obstacles to learning. 80% of Americans believe the government should provide computers to at least some students.

4. These is widespread skepticism that technology will be a useful tool for tracking the coronavirus while addressing privacy concerns.


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