RMU poll: Many worry young adults lack social skills due to technology
Almost half of Americans say smartphones and other technology make it difficult for them to balance their personal and professional lives, a poll on employment issues finds.
A higher percentage — 70.3 percent — worry that technological advances might be impairing the social skills of younger workers who often appear to be glued to their smartphones and tablets, according the survey by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute, which Trib Total Media sponsors.
“Those who are older tend to discount the changes as a means of making less contact, less professional contact. I think it's different, not necessarily worse. Face-to-face engagement is still important, but we do have many other ways to communicate now, too,” said Wendy Beckemeyer, vice president for enrollment at Robert Morris.
The poll showed 44.8 percent of respondents struggle to balance their personal and professional lives because improved technology allows them to access work-related emails and other materials when they're out of the office.
About 89.9 percent said they try to find a balance — meaning one in 10 people do not.
Nearly a third of all respondents — 30 percent — said they were in a position to hire employees or have input on hiring decisions.
Of them, 38.3 percent said they would be unwilling to hire job candidates with tattoos or piercings. About 47 percent said they would be very or somewhat willing to do so.
Asked to rate 33 traits in potential employees, the traits that topped the list are: reliable, dependable, intelligent, willing to learn and organized.
“Reliability, dependability and the openness to learn are skills honed while in college, which gives college graduates an advantage in this very competitive market,” Beckemeyer said. “College students manage multiple expectations and deadlines while pursuing a long-term goal, traditionally for four years, to acquire knowledge and skills that will serve them for a lifetime.”
The nationwide poll surveyed 1,004 people, proportional to state populations. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crude oil tumble signals low gasoline prices this fall
- Crazy Mocha owner likes comfort, says shrewd decisions foster growth
- Atlantic City on hot streak with non-gambling ventures
- Farm use of drones to take off as feds loosen restrictions
- No more ‘roar’ as famed trading pits come to an end
- Investors shy from Israeli drugmaker Teva amid uncertain Mylan takeover
- Obama overtime proposal slammed
- After years of downsizing, big houses make comeback
- New J.C. Penney CEO comes from middle-income America
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- Floating homes offer ‘affordable’ option in San Francisco area