Axios|Momentive poll: What’s Next 2022

TECHNOLOGY

Axios|Momentive poll: What’s Next 2022

Metaverse “meh”: far more are scared rather than excited for the metaverse, but most (58%) are neither. See what else our research uncovered about American's perceptions of futuristic trends.

Brianna Richardson

April 5, 2022 | 7 min read

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Key findings:

  • Trending tech: A bit of dread but mostly “meh” for the metaverse: far more are scared rather than excited for the metaverse, but most (58%) are neither
  • Electric everything: 54% say they’re enthusiastic about having a “smart home”
  • Financial flux: Not all have Bitcoin FOMO: 34% say it’s too risky to invest in and/or susceptible to fraud
    • Financial woes: 73% of adults lack confidence that today’s younger workers will be able to save enough to retire comfortably
  • Smart Cities: 51% are comfortable living in a “smart city”
  • Work shifts: New normal: 66% of adults say “both office and remote work will coexist” 
  • Democracy update: Democracy remains top of mind for many: 29% say “challenges to democracy” is the biggest threat to the U.S.

Trending Tech

Metaverse “meh”: 58% say the idea of a “metaverse” makes them neither scared nor excited for the future. More than three times as many people are scared than excited (32% vs. 7%). 

  • Younger adults (18-34) are far more likely to say the idea of a “metaverse” makes them excited (14%) vs. those 35-64 (5%) or 65+ (3%).

A similar number (60%) say they’re unfamiliar with the idea of a “metaverse, but even among those who are familiar with the metaverse, most (50%) are neither scared nor excited about it, while 35% are more scared and 14% are more excited. 

Most aren’t keen on drone delivery either: the majority of adults (63%) say allowing private companies to use unmanned drones to deliver packages to their customers is a “bad idea.” Just 35% say it’s a “good idea.” 

  • Older and middle-aged adults are warier: 67% of those 65+ and 66% of those 35-64 say it’s a “bad idea” vs. 53% of those 18-34
  • Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to say it’s a “bad idea: (65% vs. 59%) 

Electric everything

‘Hey Siri’: The overwhelming majority (75%) of adults in the U.S. say they or someone in their family interacts with a voice-activated assistant. Most say they interact with a voice-activated assistant on either a smartphone (61%), smart speaker (35%), in a car (29%), on a computer (14%) or another device (7%). 

Similarly, 58% say they have at least one “smart home” device in their home: 37% own one or two smart home devices, while 21% own three or more. Four in 10 (41%) say they don’t currently have any “smart home” devices in their home.

  • 54% of those 65+ say they don’t currently have any “smart home” devices vs. 35% of those 18-34 and 39% of those 35-64

A slight majority (54%) say they’re enthusiastic about having “smart home” devices in their home (44% are not enthusiastic). On the other hand, 45% are worried about having a smart device in their home (52% are not worried). 

Enthusiasm for smart home devices falls as worries increase, with 62% of people who are “not enthusiastic at all” about having a smart device in their home saying they are worried–including 40% who are “very worried.”

  • Enthusiasm increases dramatically with the number of devices: 41% of those with 3+  “smart home” devices are “very enthusiastic” vs. 17% of those with 1-2 devices and 7% of those without any devices  
  • Older adults are least enthused: 44% of those 65+ are enthusiastic, compared with 55% of those age 35-64 and 61% of young adults age 18-34
  • Just 34% of Blacks are worried about having a smart device in their home, compared with 50% of Hispanics, 39% of Asians, 47% of whites and 51% of adults of another race
  • Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be worried (54% vs. 40%) 

Adults are revved up about electric cars too: 64% say they’d be likely to purchase an electric vehicle if money were no object, while just a third (34%) say they’d pass. 

  • Republicans are far less likely to say they’d buy an electric car if money were no object compared to Democrats (46% vs. 83%) 
  • 72% of those 18-34 say they’d be likely to buy an electric car if money were no object vs. 62% of those 35-64 and 58% of those 65+

Financial Flux

The majority (73%) of adults lack confidence that today’s younger workers will be able to save enough to retire comfortably. 

  • Older adults (age 65+) are more likely to lack confidence compared to younger adults (76% vs. 64%) 
  • 43% of Blacks are confident today’s younger workers will be able to save enough to retire comfortably vs. 37% of Hispanics, 31% of Asians, 18% of whites and 26% of adults of another race 

Future of finance (for some): Young adults dominate ownership: 27% of adults aged 18-34 say they own crypto vs. 15% of those 35-64 and just 5% of those 65+. 

  • Men are almost twice as likely as women to say they own crypto (21% vs. 12%)
  • 23% of Asians and 19% of Hispanics currently own crypto, slightly higher than whites (15%), Blacks (15%) and adults of another race (14%)  
  • Overall, 16% of adults say they currently own cryptocurrency, yet the overwhelming majority (81%) don’t

Still, not all are ready to jump on the Bitcoin wagon: 

  • 34% say it’s too risky to invest in and/or susceptible to fraud
  • 21% it’s a good investment opportunity, but not as useful as a currency to purchase goods and services
  • 20% say it’s a worthless currency that will eventually crash
  • 9% say it’s a useful form of currency that provides a much needed alternative to U.S. dollars

Current cryptocurrency owners are:

  • 3x as likely to view Bitcoin as “a good investment opportunity, but not as useful as a currency” (51% vs. 16%)
  • 4x as likely to view Bitcoin as “a useful form of currency that provides a much needed alternative to U.S. dollars” (28% vs. 6%)
  • 1/5x as likely to say its a “worthless currency that will eventually crash” (4% vs. 23%)
  • 1/4x as likely to say it’s “Too risky to invest in and/or susceptible to fraud” (9% vs. 40%)

Smart cities

Majority are on board with futuristic transportation: 74% say they support the placement of micromobility devices in public places. This is true among all adults, regardless of age, gender or race.

  • Republicans are less likely to support the placement of micromobility devices compared to Democrats (68% vs. 80%)  

Despite broad support, 63% of adults say they haven’t used any micromobility devices. Among  those that have, electric scooters (24%) and electric bicycles (13%) are most popular followed by electric skateboards (6%) and shared bicycles (9%). 

  • 80% of those 65+ say they haven’t used any micromobility devices, significantly higher compared to those 18-34 (46%) and 35-64 (66%)  

Just over half (51%) say they’re comfortable living in “smart” cities in which key infrastructure components—including electricity grids, traffic lights, sidewalks, etc.—are connected to each other or a network via the internet. 

  • Democrats are far more likely to say they’re comfortable living in a “smart” city compared to Republicans (64% vs. 39%) 
  • 59% of adults 18-34 say they’re comfortable living in a “smart city” compared with 48% of those 35-64 and 48% of those 65+

Work shifts

Adults are split on the future for college grads: 31% say college grads today have more employment options now than before the pandemic. Yet 32% say college grads have fewer options while 35% say their options are about the same as before. 

  • 38% of Asians and 35% of Blacks say college grads have more options today vs. 30% of White, 30% of Hispanics, and 29% of adults of another race 

The Great Resignation: 17% of employed adults say they’ve quit a job for a different job in the last year and 26% say they’ve considered quitting or changing jobs. Few (6%) have quit a job without going back to work right away and 6% say they were laid off. 

  • Among adults who are not employed: 5% have quit for a different job; 12% quit without going back to work right away and 8% were laid off 

New normal: 66% of adults say “both office and remote work will coexist” while only 18% say “most workplaces will go back to how things were before COVID”. Few (13%) say “the days of working in an office 5 days a week are officially over”. 

  • 25% of those 18-34 say “most workplaces will go back to how things were before COVID”  vs. 18% of those 35-64 and 11% of those 65+

Four in 10 (44%) employed adults say work-related changes during the past two pandemic years have them feeling less connected while 40% say they’re feeling about as connected. Just 15% say they’re feeling more connected. 

But connection matters: 34% of those who say they’re feeling less connected have considered quitting or changing jobs in the last year vs. 19% who feel “about as connected” and 23% who feel “more connected.

Democracy update

Three in 10 (29%) say “challenges to democracy” pose the biggest threat to the U.S., ahead of “Russian aggression (21%) and “the rise of China’s international influence” (15%).

  • Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say “the rise of China’s international influence” poses the biggest threat to the U.S. (29% vs. 5%) 

Yet Americans are less concerned over “nuclear weapons” (13%), climate change (10%) and cyberattacks posing a threat to the U.S. 

This comes as 14% of Americans rank “democracy” as the most important issue - second to “jobs and the economy” (31%) and roughly on par with a December 2021 Axios|Momentive poll (17% said “democracy”; 31% said “jobs and the economy”).

Read more about our polling methodology here

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below:

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