As a recruiter, HR or staffing pro, you likely couldn't imagine a life without your technology tools. They are your lifeblood. You have grown used to accessing the Internet and your database from any device, virtually anywhere and at any time. So I guess the results of a recent Harris Poll that show more Americans would rather give up sex than their Internet, phone or computer really shouldn't surprise anyone. Or does it?

Overall, the poll of 2,210 adults in the general population as well as 315 full-time IT decision makers shows we are divided on how technology impacts the way we live our lives.

Can't live with it, can't live without it. Isn't that how the old saying goes?

Obviously we can't survive without eating, so the infographic at the bottom of this post detailing what we could not live without, would have food at the top.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs, first put forth in 1943, lists sex as a basic human need too though, right along side breathing, food, water, sleep and going to the bathroom.

So how does the Harris Poll end up with people saying they would sooner give up sex than  Internet access, phones, computers and TV?

Moving on, technology certainly can make us more productive, and allow us to be connected to more people than at any time in our history, yet the constant presence of screens can also separate us.

The other night at dinner with our family I caught all four of us sitting at the table looking down at our phones. So it happens.

86% of IT pros and 71% of American adults say "technology has improved the overall quality of my life."

In the aggregate, the majority of IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) as well as the majority of the general population in this country see technology as a benefit.

  • Technology has improved the overall quality of my life (86% ITDMs, 71% U.S. adults).
  • Technology encourages people to be more creative (79% ITDMs, 65% U.S. adults).
  • Technology enhances my social life (69% ITDMs, 52% U.S. adults).
  • I use technology as an escape from my busy life (65% ITDMs, 47% U.S. adults).

The majority of those surveyed also also believe technology is positively impacting more personal parts of their lives as well.

The majority of those surveyed also believe technology is positively impacting more personal parts of their lives as well:

  • My ability to live life the way I want to (66% ITDMs, 42% U.S. adults).
  • My productivity at home (64% ITDMs, 34% U.S. adults).
  • My safety and security (62% ITDMs, 36% U.S. adults).
  • My happiness (61% ITDMs, 41% U.S. adults).
  • Relationships with friends (57% ITDMs, 47% U.S. adults).
  • My social life (56% ITDMs, 41% U.S. adults).

So you figured there might be a catch, right? Even beyond the "I'd rather give up sex than my phone" part.

Technology does come with some strings attached, including the fact that many people feel as if they are always "on call."

Technology does come with some strings attached, including the fact that many people feel as if they are always "on call."

  • Technology is corrupting interpersonal communications (65% ITDMs, 68% U.S. adults).
  • Technology has become too distracting (59% ITDMs, 69% U.S. adults).
  • Technology is creating a lazy society (57% ITDMs, 76% U.S. adults).

There is still some redemption to be found in the numbers though. Even tech-heavy IT pros say human touchpoints take precedence over technological ones.

Some 45% of the general population surveyed said "they could not live without their spouse or significant other" while 43% of the IT pros stated that.

Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher, futurist and communications theorist said all the way back in 1974, "The most human thing about us is our technology."

Now break into groups and discuss.

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Tags: Staffing, News, Recruiting, Human Resources, Technology, Harris Poll, IT professionals, Internet access, Sex, Interpersonal communications, Technology in staffing, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Mobile phones