1 in 3 wish TikTok had never been invented, survey reveals

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Social media is the creation of the last 20 years most disliked by consumers, with a third of people (33%) wishing that TikTok had never been invented, reveals research from Uswitch.com.

Facebook (30%), Twitter (27%) and Instagram (23%) were the second, third and fourth-least popular inventions. But it’s not just the older generations who regret the rise of certain social media sites — three in ten (30%) of those aged 18 to 34 also wish TikTok had never been created, compared with 31% of 35 to 54-year-olds, and 38% of the over-55s.  

Half of consumers (50%) say they don’t miss any technology from the turn of the millennium, but others were nostalgic about the loss of television text service Ceefax, which stopped broadcasting in 2012. Nearly one in ten people (7%) said it was the piece of technology around in 2000 they missed most, while music cassettes and VHS tapes were next most-missed, among 6% of people.

Consumers are spending more on gadgets than ever, with the value of household devices rising 150% since the year 2000 — despite the cost of computers and televisions falling during that time. Households are now spending an average of £8,500 on their gadgets, compared to £3,400 20 years ago[4].

Modern homes now have 11 gadgets on average, up from eight in 2000[5], with seven connecting to the internet. Half of homes have a smart TV (53%), three in ten (29%) own a smart speaker like Alexa or Google Home and 18% have a smart watch.

Table – biggest rise and fall in ownership from 2000 to 2020

Device

Increase

 

Device

Decrease

Laptop computer

33%

 

Video (VHS) player

-35%

Router

25%

 

Walkman (or analogue music player, CD or tapes)

-25%

Electric toothbrush

24%

 

Stereo

-22%

Mobile phone

14%

 

Film camera

-20%

Digital camera

12%

 

Desktop computer

-15%

Source: Uswitch.com

The most common household tech in the year 2000 were televisions, found in eight out of ten homes (79%), with landline phones (73%) and mobile phones (59%) the next most popular devices. Analogue music players like Walkmans were found in a third of houses (32%), and electronic pets called Tamagotchis were cared for in one in ten (12%).

Table – ownership of new gadgets since 2000

New gadgets

Percentage of households

Tablet computer

56%

Smart television

53%

Wireless headphones 

34%

E-reader (e.g Amazon Kindle)

32%

Bluetooth speaker

30%

Smart speaker (e.g Amazon Echo or Google Home)

29%

Blu-ray player

24%

Smart watch

18%

Smart toothbrush

7%

Smart doorbell (eg Ring)

6%

Smart fridge

4%

Source: Uswitch.com

Two-thirds of people (67%) say technology has made life easier over the last 20 years, and three quarters (78%) say it has helped them keep in touch with loved ones. However, less than half of people (45%) say technology has made the world a better place.

Consumers are most excited by the idea of 100Gbps broadband speeds for all in 20 years, with two thirds (69%) agreeing to this. Next most popular were fake trees that scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and doors that operate based on fingerprint or facial recognition, both welcomed by over half (52%) of people.

Uswitch.com reveals how household technology has changed since the year 2000 as it celebrates 20 years of helping consumers switch to better deals. 

Says Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com:

“Some social media sites are less about sharing news and more about showing off, which could explain why so many people wish that TikTok had never been invented.

“It’s interesting to see that antipathy towards TikTok is not just the preserve of older generations, with 30% of millennials also wishing that it had never been invented.”

“It’s exciting to think what new technology we’ll be using in 20 years, although many of us will be hoping that certain social media sites are long extinct.”

Find out how our household technology will change 20 years into the future here.

Chris Price
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