Ford has released its 7th Annual Trends Report, an analysis of worldwide consumer behavior based on interviews with more than 13,000 people across 14 different countries.
According to the company, these surveys don't just look at behavior toward automobiles, but rather the factors that drive behavioral changes. For example, Ford found that 87% of people think that technology is the biggest driver of change, and 79% believe that technology creates positive change — it doesn’t, however, cover the 21% of people that must think technology is a force for evil.
About 70% of respondents believed that humans should have a mandatory break from devices, and nearly half (45%) of all respondents admitted that they envy people who can "disconnect."
According to Ford, here are seven trends that will make an impact in 2019:
1. Tech Divide — As I said before, 87% of adults think that technology is the biggest driver of change. However, 46% of Gen Z respondents (that's the crop after millennials) fear that technology is trying to get in their heads.
Speaking of millennials, nearly 70% (69%) would like to undo some of the behavioral changes they have experienced as a result of technology. Before you turn your nose up at the meddling kids, 53% of baby boomers felt the same way — that technology has changed them.
- 57% of millennials and 46% of Gen Xers think that artificial intelligence (AI) will be stronger than the human mind within 10 years.
- 44% of all women and 37% of all men surveyed admitted that they were afraid of AI, and even more people (48% of men, 39% of women) admitted that they don't really understand it.
2. Digital Detox — Just put down the phone. It sounds easy enough — and 45% of people are jealous of those who can actually do it — but 39% of Gen Z and millennials admitted that they were addicted to social media. A quarter of the same groups said that they would rather lose their ability to smell than give up their devices.
3. Reclaiming Control — In the past year, 84% of all adults have taken "small steps" to improve their lives, and all but 8% have stuck to their guns. Basically, researchers found that people want to and can improve as long as they don't bite off more than they can chew.
4. Many Faces of Me — Ford's study found that identity isn't set, but rather dependant on our circumstances and environment. More than 50% of millennials and Gen Z admitted that they were more outgoing on social media. Only 17% of boomers admitted the same.
- 84% of all adults said that people sugarcoat their lives on social media.
- A shocking 74% of Gen Z respondents think that people are fighting to stay relevant.
5: Life's Work — Ford's findings reaffirmed that the work-life balance for employees is changing. For example, more than 60% of all respondents think that companies should reward employees for using all of their vacation time.
- 77% think that companies don't do enough to accommodate working parents.
- 84% believe that diverse opinions lead to positive change.
6: Eco-Momentum — People are willing to make changes as long as they know that they would make a difference. About 56% of U.S. adults would change the way they eat if they thought it would help the planet, which is dead last when compared to the 13 other countries polled. The same is true when it comes to the number of people who consider the environmental costs of each purchase — again, the U.S. respondents came in dead last.
7: Easy Street — Finally, Ford wanted to know how technology is changing transportation.
- 67% of all people think technology makes the commute less stressful.
- 43% of people in the U.S. think that self-driving cars will be safer than humans driving cars.