Rich Morin, co-author of an interesting new study in the world of consumer electronics, probably said it best when he concluded that there is "nothing like hard times to focus the minds of the public on what they need and don’t need
." The aforementioned study polled one thousand Americans via landline and cellphone in early April regarding what they considered to be "essential items" and simple luxuries, and when compared to results of the same study administered in 2006, the conclusions were downright fascinating.
Researchers at Pew’s Social & Demographic Trends Project found that most consumers still see cars and TV sets as "necessities," but that wasn't exactly true for some older items. For instance, less than half of respondents considered a microwave essential this year, while nearly 70% did so just three short years ago. Furthermore, clothes dryers were down from 86% in 2006 to 66% now, while TV sets slipped from 64% to 52%.
Of note, the exodus from the TV set can't be entirely contributed to recessionary changes. All the while, more and more television programming is finding its way online
, giving people more options when it comes to watching the tube. In related news, 4% of individuals now consider an Apple iPod
to be a necessity, which is actually up from 3% in 2006. Somewhat surprisingly, those who felt cellphones were "a must have" remained steady at 49%. So, we don't need a machine to dry our clothes, but going about our day without headphones jammed in our ear canals is a no-no. Thanks for the insight, America.