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United We Stand … on Technology: Pew Research

May 5

You may take some whacks at Goldman Sachs but don’t lay a hand on my PCs or Macs! That at least is the message one might take from a perusal of Americans’ judgments about who and what are having positive or negative effects on the way things are going in the country today.

Nor is that positive rating primarily the result of the enthusiasm of young and relatively young adults, the first adopters and overwhelming users of new technology. While fully 80% of those under age 30 express positive views of the tech sector, the fans of technology firms are well distributed across the age spectrum including about two-thirds (66%) of those in the 50-64 age bracket and more than half (52%) of those ages 65 and older. Even among the elderly, non-positive evaluations of tech companies are about as likely to be a non-response (19%) as a negative rating (23%).

Among demographic groups men are more likely than women to have warm feelings about the technology industry (73% vs. 63%) . Male enthusiasm extends across the age range with fully 68% of men ages 50 and above saying that tech companies have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country. Education also plays some role in this evaluation: 75% of college grads and 70% of those with some college experience take a positive view compared with about six in ten of those with lesser education attainment. Greater affluence also appears to stimulate more favorable views — 82% of those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more give a thumbs-up to tech companies compared with numbers in the 60% range for lesser income categories. Among regions, only in the South do somewhat fewer (63%) see tech firms exerting a positive influence.

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