I’m not sure how I feel about this report. I don’t know if I should find it interesting, tantalizing or offensive. By offensive, I mean in the way the report is worded – or maybe it’s just because I haven’t yet consumed enough coffee. I personally don’t think that a sampling of 2000 women across the nation is a very good cross-section of the female population who use technology. While devices are convenient for both research and communication, I don’t go into any kind of massive twitchy fit or experience any anxiety if I’m away from Facebook, Twitter or even email for a day. For the record, I would willingly give up my cell phone before I would give up my PC, netbook, 360, DS or iPod Touch – because if I give up my cell phone (which, by the way, is not a smartphone), it would be harder for those at my day job to find me. 😉
Nearly half (46%) of Canadian women admit they could not go without their mobile devices for even a week, according to the 2011 MasterIndex™ on Women and Technology (PDF) released today by MasterCard Canada. The report indicates that women have become so dependent on their mobile phones, MP3 players and even digital cameras that they are willing to sacrifice the things they love in order to keep them.
The report reveals Canadian women over the age of 18 would rather give up coffee (24%), spa treatments (42%) and even chocolate (24%) than part with their mobile gadgets. Canadian women are avid users of digital cameras (85%), mobile/cellphones (73%) and MP3 players (50%), but how they use these devices is dictated by age and life circumstance.
“As a leader in mobile payments technology, MasterCard wanted to learn more about the relationship women have with technology and how this relationship is evolving,” says Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada. “We know technology is important to women, but were surprised by how dependent they’ve become. This fascination with mobile tools is likely the result of their increased functionality. It goes beyond chatting with family and friends. Busy women can now access social media sites, keep track of their busy social calendars and view their favorite photos and videos from anywhere using these mobile tools.”
The report reveals that there are five distinct life stages that categorize women’s relationship with technology:
* Aspiring Adopters are women between the ages of 18 and 34 who are not employed full-time. This group is most likely to own MP3 players (81%) and smartphones (27%) and the second most likely to identify themselves as early adopters of technology (10%).
* Connected Careerists are employed women between the ages of 18 and 34 without children. These women are identified as the earliest adopters of technology (16%) and can afford to own digital cameras (92%), MP3 players (83%), portable video/gaming devices (36%) and smartphones (36%).
* Mobile Mamas, the majority of whom are between the ages of 25 and 49, often own a variety of devices including digital cameras (92%), cellphones (77%), MP3 players (65%), video/gaming devices (52%) and smartphones (21%). Some of these devices are for personal use, while others, such as gaming devices, may be used by their children.
* Established but Unimpressed who are between the ages of 35 and 54 but have no children are very reluctant adopters of technology (51%) and often only own a mobile phone (84%) which they view as a tool. They are neither impressed nor intimidated by new or changing technology, and you won’t find them with the latest and greatest gadgets.
* Silver Speakers are women aged 55+ who have no children of their own living at home. Women in this group are most likely to own cellphones (70%) and digital cameras (83%).
The research was conducted by Environics Research Group from July 22 – August 4, 2010, via a national online survey of 2,000 adult Canadian women aged 18+.