Webby Awards Research Shows How The Relentless and Transformative Effects of the Internet Are Bringing Americans Face to Face with Humankind’s Biggest Questions


Contact: Anne Muscarella
(212) 918-2044

Study reflects acceptance and embrace of existing technology, generational divide in perceptions of how the future of technology will impact our work, relationships, and sense of self.

72% of adults fear that in 10 years, relationships will be less authentic than today because of technology; 84% agree that technology has brought them closer to friends and relatives who live far away.

Over 50% of Millennials age 18-34 agree they would be happier if they used their smartphone less; Millennials also more likely to integrate technology in their daily lives; from work to fitness to relationships.

(New York, NY) October 22, 2015The Webby Awards today released research which reveals that the Internet is improving our lives in more ways than ever before, with 85% of millennials using the Internet for shopping, 69% to help with repair and installation of personal and home items, 58% to manage health or fitness regimens, and 61% to streamline tasks at work. And the Internet is permeating our lives in surprising ways: 93% of millennials indicate they use their smartphone in bed, 79% in the restroom, and 43% while stopped at a red light while driving. The data supports this year’s Webby Awards trend: “The Internet Can’t Be Stopped,” which explores how the rapid advancements of the Internet age are dramatically changing the way humans live, work, and interact in the world, calling into question philosophical questions that challenge our values, our place in society, and ourselves.

“Today the Internet is a more inexorable part of our existence than most of us care to admit, from the conference room to the bedroom and everywhere in between” said Webby Executive Director, David-Michel Davies. “The data shows the many ways people, and in particular millennials, have embraced technology as a tool to enhance daily living, but also a national conversation that has emerged about its role in the way we think about our work, relationships and ourselves.

The online survey was conducted by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+ on behalf of the Webby Awards in October 2015, and reveals that adults, and in particular Millennials (adults age 18-34), are embracing the integration of technology in their daily lives, and are both optimistic and skeptical about the ways in which technology will shape our future.

The Webby Awards have broken down the impact of the technology into three key areas of our lives:

Seventy-two percent of adults say it’s likely that unemployment will rise as new technologies will require fewer people to do the same amount of work, and 77% worry that if they don’t keep up with the latest technology, they’ll be less employable.

Millennials, who have grown up in the digital age, are more optimistic – when asked about how the Internet will impact their career over the next 10 years, nine out of 10 millennials (and notably 96% of students) agree the Internet will provide them with more access to jobs they’re suited for, and 76% agree the Internet will make their job easier.

Seventy-two percent of adults believe that in 10 years, relationships will be less authentic than today because of technology, and only 37% believe technology will allow them to maintain deeper relationships than they can today.

Despite this, a strong majority (more than 4 in 5) reports that technology has helped bridge a physical divide between loved ones, with 84% percent agreeing that technology has brought them closer to friends and relatives who live far away.

A strong majority of adults (70%) concede that it’s hard not to look at their mobile phone when it rings or vibrates. More than half (56%) of Millennials believe they would be happier if they used their smartphone less, and more than a third (38%) of this generation report having a relationship deteriorate due to technology or social media.

Despite the pull of technology, a majority of adults respect certain times and places where smartphones are less welcome, usually as it relates to personal interactions:

  • 67% do not use their smartphones while eating dinner with family
  • 65% do not use smartphones in a work meeting, although 45% of those with higher household income (100K+) admit to doing so
  • Over half (53%) admit to using their smartphone while in the restroom
  • Two-thirds (67%) do not use their smartphone while stopped at a red light while driving, although 42% of those with higher household income (100K+) admit to doing so

However, Millennials are more inclined to make room for technology in these areas:

  • 51% ever use smartphones while eating with family
  • 40% ever use smartphones while in a work meeting
  • Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) Millennials admit to using their smartphones while in the restroom, primarily driven by male millennials who pass the time by texting (63%), checking or updating social media (64%), checking/sending email (52%), or playing mobile games (46%).
  • 43% use their smartphones while stopped at a red light while driving

The full research and methodology are available at:

The Webby Awards Early Entry deadline to submit works for consideration is October 30, 2015. Nominees will be announced April 2016, with the hallmark Webby Awards ceremony held later in Spring 2016.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of The Webby Awards from October 8-12, 2015 among 2,020 adults ages 18 and older. The online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey results and methodology, please contact Anne Muscarella at

About The Webby Awards:
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Advertising & Media, Online Film & Video, Mobile Sites & Apps, and Social. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 states and over 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Google, Grey Goose Vitamin T, Advertising Age, YouTube, Internet Week New York, and The Guardian News Media, Cool Hunting, The Drum, GeekWireVentureBeat, and Springwise.

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