Research into how smartphones and tech improve our lives has shown that social media makes a massive difference to whether or not we vote.
Carphone Warehouse polled just over 1,000 UK adults to find out how they use their phones, the apps that have the most influence, and how tech's changed their lives in general. Unsurprisingly in these tense times, politics was high on the agenda:
Over a third (36%) of those surveyed said what they read or see on social media would persuade them to go and vote. Social media resonated best with 18 to 24 year olds, with nearly half (48%) saying social media posts made them more likely to vote.
While that's undoubtedly a good thing, what CW doesn't mention is that the content of social media posts most likely influences the way people vote as well, and whether or not you consider that a positive will likely depend on how you perceive the democratic decisions that have been made recently. Would President Trump have happened if we didn't have Facebook, for instance?
Speaking of FB, in a surprising counterpoint to much of the research about how social media affects our mood, 39% of respondents said the social network had changed their lives in a positive way. The other top 10 positives were:
- Banking apps (28%)
- Health and fitness apps (21%)
- Twitter (21%)
- Instagram (18%)
- Travel apps (13%)
- Linkedin (12%)
- Education apps (8%)
- Productivity apps (7%)
- Dating apps (7%)
One in three of us have also learnt a new skill via an app, including languages, cooking, speed reading, coding and arguing in comment sections.
Laura Harricks, Online Trading Director at Carphone Warehouse, said:
"Smartphones have become such a normalised part of society that we can sometimes forget the variety of things they help us to achieve on a daily basis. From paying bills, to working out and even falling in love, it’s amazing to see how this technology has transformed our way of life so drastically.
Mobile technology is often blamed for the decline in face-to-face communication and we’ve all had moments with our friends when everyone’s on their phones and nobody's talking. But in reality, aren’t we just changing the way we communicate and engage with the world around us?"
But if those voting stats are anything to go by, tech isn't just changing the way we engage with the world – it's literally changing the world. For better or for Brexit.
You can read the full results here.