The ability to work from home has undoubtedly saved countless jobs across the U.S., as people with a computer and internet connection continue to operate as if they were in the office. During this COVID-19 outbreak, personal internet connections have become absolutely essential for remote work, and a recent survey shows a majority of Americans classify their internet as essential.
In an April survey from the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of respondents said they viewed internet as essential to their lives during COVID-19 lockdowns. Another 34 percent viewed internet as important but not essential, while just 13 percent said it was unimportant to their pandemic lives.
The differences in who deemed internet essential could be seen in age-based demographics. A clear majority of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 viewed the service as essential, with 62 percent classifying it as essential to their lives. An even larger majority was observed in those between the ages of 30 and 49, with 65 percent of respondents labeling internet as essential. However, 49 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64 said the same, while just 31 percent of those above the age of 65 viewed internet as essential during the pandemic.
The overall Pew survey showed how age differences affect the experiences people are having while isolating at home. Older Americans were more likely to see the crisis as a threat to their health, while younger Americans saw it as a threat to their financial lives. Younger people were more likely to have experienced lost wages and experienced more emotional distress during the crisis. Older Americans were more likely to say their faith has strengthened during the pandemic.