Millions of Brits clueless about the cloud and what technology terms mean


Millions of Brits are clueless about technology and don’t even know the difference between an upload and a download.

Those are just some of the findings of a poll carried out on behalf of Curry’s PC World  which found that a quarter of the nation are clueless when it comes to ‘the cloud’ and have no idea how ‘cloud storage’ works.

Even the meaning of common tech acronyms, such as USB and Wi-Fi, are dividing the nation – both young and old.

Less than half of Brits know that USB stands for ‘Universal Serial Bus’, with nearly a quarter thinking the popular term stands for ‘Universal System Block’ or ‘Uniform Standard Block’.

Other confusing terms include ‘updating your story’, with a fifth of the nation using the phrase when talking about updating a CV.

The poll of 2,000 adults reveals that two thirds of the nation admit their tech knowledge is average at best with 42 per cent confessing they feel current technology is too complicated.

This is despite the high percentage of Brits using devices on a regular basis, with eight in 10 adults using a smartphone and nearly two thirds using a laptop daily.

Part of the problem is also outdated tech, with Brits listing their top tech bugbears are that their laptops or computers are too slow, too old or they don’t have enough memory.

Six in 10 respondents also say they feel frustrated when they can’t make their computer do what they want it to, with others experiencing feelings of anger and inadequacy.

While nearly four in 10 adults feel that they can rely on their children to help with any technical issues, it appears that young Brits might know less than they think. Adults across the UK are more likely to understand widely-used terms such as ‘Firewall’, ‘Modem’ and ‘Download’ compared to today’s youth.

However, nearly one in 10 of over 55’s who took part in the study were more likely to believe that a filter is used to make coffee, rather than to change the way a photograph looks.

Says Georgina Bramall, Head of Brand & Advertising at Dixons Carphone:

“With technology advancing at a rapid pace, it can feel a little overwhelming at times and it can be easy to feel out of your depth.

“However, it’s not always just the buzzwords and jargon that can make us feel left behind. Sometimes it’s the tech we use that’s old and outdated, which further compounds the problem.”

“Our findings prove that getting it right with your set-up is now more important than ever –  two thirds of the country use a laptop daily, yet nearly a third of consumers say their tech is too slow, which can cause all kinds of problems.


Chris Price
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