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62% Of Americans Prefer Using Technology Over Face-To-Face Interactions

A new survey finds 2 in 3 Americans would choose self-service checkouts rather than a human one, among other tech-based interactions

retail customers self checkout machine store
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4 mins read

Technology has become more than just a perk in life. It’s now an integral part of the human experience. You can start your day by waking up to an alarm clock…on your phone. If you’re running late to work, you can order a coffee from your favorite shop ahead of time using an app. You can even order all of your groceries and have them delivered to your car without stepping foot inside the store!

With technology replacing more face-to-face interactions, we surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to see how they’re adapting to the changes. It turns out, many Americans prefer technology to social interactions, so much so they’d choose tech-based checkouts over human-run ones.

How Americans feel about tech-based interactions

american opinions on self-service kiosks and mobile app checkouts playusa.com report

It looks like days of chatting it up with a clerk while checking out at a store are becoming rarer and rarer. More than 4 in 5 (84%) Americans like using self-service kiosks, and 66% said they would choose to use one of those over a human-run checkout.

The younger generations are drawn to this more. 84% of Gen Z and 76% of Millennials prefer using tech-based checkouts. Meanwhile, 57% of Gen X and 46% of Baby Boomers like it.
There are a number of reasons people are drawn to technology versus humans. More than 7 in 10 (71%) said it’s because human-run checkouts take longer, but 60% said they go this route because then they don’t have to talk to people! In fact, nearly 1 in 6 (14%) said they would wait for a self-service kiosk even if a human-run checkout had no line.

Some people, especially introverts, see the value in all this technology! More than 3 in 5 (61%) introverts feel technology has reduced their social anxiety, and 89% say tech has made it easier for them to navigate everyday life.

Overall, Americans have mixed feelings. While 62% like that technology is replacing face-to-face interactions, more than 2 in 3 (67%) feel technology has made it harder for people to connect in a meaningful way. On top of that, 75% believe tech-based interactions have led to a decrease in social skills, and 68% think it’s led to a decrease in empathy.

Using tech to avoid social interactions

American feelings about using tech for food taxis rideshares playusa.com report

There is one type of technology nearly half of Americans do not prefer: talking on the phone. 45% admitted they get anxious talking on the phone. Millennials struggle with it the most followed by Gen Z. Nearly half (45%) have asked someone else to make a call for them so they didn’t have to talk on the phone!

When it comes to food, 65% prefer to make dinner reservations online instead of calling the restaurant. As for ordering out, 74% admit they’ve had a delivery driver leave food on the doorstep even though they could have opened the door to grab it from them.

More than half (54%) admitted they do not like talking with a driver while in a taxi or rideshare. In fact, 30% go as far as to give rideshare drivers better ratings if they don’t talk as much. If Americans have a bad experience with a business, the majority would prefer to make a complaint online (57%).

Technology and gambling

how technology is impacting America’s gambling habits playusa.com report
As a company that provides resources regarding the legal gambling industry, we also wanted to see how technology is impacting America’s gambling habits. We found that 44% prefer gambling with real money online casinos to gambling in person. Even in casinos, some people are drawn to games that don’t require them to communicate with others. More than 1 in 3 (34%) admitted they’ve played online slots on kiosks to avoid social interactions or downloaded a mobile casino app.

About 1 in 10 (11%) even admitted to placing a bet online or at a kiosk while inside a casino or sportsbook. People had a number of reasons for doing this: 71% said they did it for convenience, but 31% admitted they also did it to avoid human interaction.

As for the lottery, 62% prefer to buy tickets from a kiosk instead of from store clerks. More than 2 in 5 (43%) people who play the lottery shared they would play more if they could buy tickets on their phone!

There are pros and cons as Americans rely more on technology. Technology has been transforming the way people interact, even more so since 2020. As we rely on it to complete more daily tasks, don’t forget the importance of human interactions!

Methodology

In April 2023, we surveyed 1,001 Americans to learn more about their technology habits. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 77 with an average age of 43. 25% were Gen Z, 25% were Millennials, 25% were Gen X, and 25% were Baby Boomers. 49% were women, 49% were men, 1% were non-binary, and 1% preferred not to share their gender.

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