In 2019, 71% of respondents say they are ready to adopt new digital technologies or services immediately or gradually. They were 76% in 2017. A drop of 5 points.
It is now 28% of respondents who express a form of distance from digital change.
71% of French people ready to embrace digital change
"The people who are most connected to the Internet and who generally trust digital tools for their personal and professional lives are also those who say they are ready to adopt new technologies," observes Credoc.
Among those most willing to adopt new technologies in 2019 are 18-24 year olds (90%), 25-39 year olds (87%), university graduates (79%), executives (89%), middle class (83%), employees (77%), blue collar workers (74), upper middle class (74%), high income earners (89%), and residents of the Greater Paris area (+8 points).
Conversely, the least willing to adopt new products or services are the oldest people (-30 points compared to the average), people living alone (-16 points), the non-educated (-17 points), the retired (-20 points), the low-income (-7 points) and people living in rural communities (-10 points).
Taking a step back
28% of respondents say they are not ready to adopt new digital technologies or services immediately or gradually. A drop of 5 points.
This "distancing" does not affect, or marginally affects, 18-24 year olds and high earners.
However, it is observed in categories of the population that until now were open to digital change.
Among university graduates, the number of people ready to adopt new technologies drops from 90 to 79% (-11 points). The drop is 9 points among intermediate professions, 8 points among 40-59 year olds, employees and people living in the Greater Paris area, 7 points among executives and 5 points among 25-39 year olds,
This "distancing" is identical among men and women (- 5 points). And this is despite the gap that remains between men and women in their relationship to new technologies: in 2017, 79% of men said they were ready to adopt new digital technologies or services compared to 74% of women. This gap continues in 2019 (74% and 69%).
The questionnaire submitted by Credoc distinguished two modalities of adoption of new digital technologies and services: immediate and progressive.
Credoc thus points to a slight increase (+3 points, from 24% in 2017 to 27% in 2019) in the number of people ready to adopt the new technology immediately and a decrease (-8 points) in the share of those who say they want to adopt it gradually, going from 52% to 44%).
This ambivalence, according to Credoc, reflects " a polarization of attitudes towards new technologies".
"Age," observes Credoc, " plays a particularly important role in this polarization: 39% of 18-24 year-olds feel ready to adopt new digital technologies or services 'immediately' (+15 points), while 26% of 40-59 year-olds do not want to go down this path (+8 points).
More than two-thirds of French people do not intend to use connected objects in the future
This distancing is illustrated, observes the Credoc, "by the position of citizens in relation to connected objects"
In 2019, only a minority of individuals (9%) own a connected speaker.
"More generally, connected objects are not yet unanimously accepted by the population. Only 16% of French people own a connected object related to one of the following four uses: household appliances, health, home automation or security. Conversely, more than two-thirds of the individuals surveyed say they will probably not use connected objects in the future for each of these uses.
In relation to these different types of objects, the French seem to be more open to objects related to security (30% have one or plan to use one in the future) or home automation (29%) than to household appliances (25%) or health (26%), even though this last segment has the highest rate of equipment (11%, compared to a maximum of 6% for other uses).
The position of the French towards connected objects depends mainly on the age of the individuals surveyed. Younger people are much more likely than older people to accept connected objects, regardless of their use: for example, 86% of 60-69 year olds say they will probably not use health-related connected objects in the future, compared to only 43% of 12-17 year olds. There are smaller, but significant, differences by degree level between non-graduates and graduates.
This distancing, this 5-point drop in the number of people willing to embrace digital change probably refers to the phenomenon of "digital fatigue" that sociologists and the press have been pointing out for several years.
The Conseil National du Numérique already pointed out in 2013 the considerable learning effort that people have made and still make to adapt to a digital environment that is constantly changing. "Digital technologies are constantly evolving and will require a recurring learning effort for everyone, throughout their lives. We are regularly confronted with a new digital device - from the self-service supermarket checkout to the automated hotline, via the online application for requesting a civil status form, tomorrow the smart meter for adapting consumption or the application for home medical monitoring, etc. It's an effort that not everyone is able to make.
In 2014, the Fing devoted one of the chapters of its "Digital Transitions" foresight exercise to the " digital fatigue ": "Despite its undeniable benefits, digital technology increasingly appears, too, as a source of difficulties, even suffering... As digital equipment develops and diversifies, malfunctions multiply. In 2013, a survey estimated that each user spends three weeks a year simply managing their digital devices and data."
This " digital fatigue " is fed by the growing dependence on digital tools, a sometimes brutal dematerialization (not only in administrations), the abuse of an attention design designed to maintain our addiction to screens and influence our choices, or the exponential increase in the volumes of information produced, exchanged and consumed, concerns about the collection and use of personal data or an increasingly acute awareness of the impacts of digital technology on the environment.
The rise of "detox" practices and the emergence of tools and services to manage information, cognitive and time overload are part of this " distancing" .