Computer in Our Life


1.1 Background

In the 1980s, computers began to take up new roles in various forms. A simple computer could be a cash machine in a supermarket, which does not look like a traditional one. In the past two decades, the price of components used for computers steadily fell due to higher technological advancement, reduced cost of manufacturing, stiffer competition, entrance of more manufacturers, new usage that simplified many processes, greater market demand and inevitability to higher productivity. And the trend of the usage of computer is changing rapidly, from governmental to civilian. Till now, the beginning of the 21st century, computers are becoming more powerful and functional and much closer to our daily life. The aim of this report is to find out the relationship between people's life and computer and the role of computer in the modern century, as well as determining the Computer's popularity, functions and the writers’ opinions and publish them out.

The survey was carried out between 14th March and 16th March. Teenagers are our primary targets of the investigation. The survey took the form of questionnaire, and interviewing teenagers, chosen at random, collected the data. The copies of the questionnaires are given at the Appendix

1.2 General Objectives

1.3 Limitations

Due to the limitation of time and resources, a very extensive survey involving about few hundred people was not possible to be conducted single handedly as the project was on an individual basis. As we only conduct about forty interviews, the statistics gathered may not represent the actual situation.

2. Findings


2.1 The survey, which was conducted among various groups of people, received an excellent response. A total of 42 questionnaires were distributed in the streets. It represented 100% response rate.


2.2 The following findings are based on the 12 questions in the questionnaires. Several design methods were read to find out the most feasible way designing these questions.


2.2.1 Gender of People

The gender of the respondents was not of main concern but it was however noted to check the responses both formed by male and female. Majority of the respondents happened to be male, which accounted for 81%. 19% of the respondents were female.


2.2.2 Age group

The age groups of the respondents were of concern, as the age groups would have significant influence in the analysis. The ages were grouped into 6 different categories, less than 15, 16-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-55 and 56 or above. However, the vast majority of the respondents, 33 (77%) in total were in the age group between 16 and 20 and there was therefore a minority of the respondents, 9 (21%) in total is in the group between 21 and 30. Nobody we interviewed was in other age groups.


          2.2.3 The number of personal computer

Roughly half of the respondents, 25 (59%) of 42 respondents owned one personal computer. Another 17% of family owned 2 and 3 personal computers. Nearly none of the respondents (2%) owned 4 or above personal computers. The remaining (5%) do not have their own personal computer.


          2.2.4 The number of family members share the computer

The statistic of survey showed that only 19% of all the respondents do not need to share the personal computer with their family members. And more than a quarter of the respondents 38%, shared their personal computers with 1 family member. Another 24%, 10 respondents, share their computer with 2 family members. Only a small number of respondents, 14% only, share their computer with 4 or even more family members in their home.


          2.2.5 The connection of the personal computers with the Internet

The responses showed a good number of the people who have Internet access. The overwhelmingly of interviewees' personal computers could access to the Internet, which are 81%. On the other hand, we discovered there was only 6 out of the whole respondents (14%) mentioned that their personal computers could not connected to the Internet.


2.2.6 Their purpose of using computer

A total of 31 out of the 42 respondents stated that the purposes of using computer were studying and reviewing. This accounts for nearly 74% of the respondents. The survey showed that half of the respondents (45%) used their personal computer for the purpose of working. And most of the respondents, 32 (80%) in total, expressed their opinions that their personal computers were generally for entertainment. Only a small number of them (13%) used the personal computers for other purposes.


          2.2.7 The time that people work on computer per week

When asked how many times they work with the personal computers in a week, it was found that 9% stated that less than 5 hours are spent of all respondents. There were at least 17% who worked with the personal computer about 8 hours, while approximately 10% reported the time that they spent between 10 hours and 15 hours on computers. Hardly anyone (5%) said that the working time with the computers was between 16 hours and 20 hours. However, it is remarkable that 35% of them spent more than 21 hours on computers per week.


          2.2.8 The time that people spend on computer for entertainment per week

Remarkably, about a third of respondents mentioned that the time spent on entertainment with the personal computer was between 6 hours and 10 hours. With 24% of them said they would spend less than 5 hours on entertainment only. The remaining of them was divided into 3 groups, 11-15 hours (14%), 16-20 hours (38%) and 21 hours or above (19%). In general, more than half of the respondents faced to the computers more than 2 hours every day.


          2.2.9 The necessity of personal computer to their daily life

Roughly half of the respondents, 17 (40%) respondents believed that the personal computers were very important to their daily life. On the contrary, 19 (45%) of them believed the personal computers were relatively important to their daily life. It indicated that a large majority of people were familiar with the functions of the personal computer. Conversely therefore, there was only 2 (5%) respondents thought that computers were not playing a role at a high level of importance. Similarly, the remaining of them said that the personal computer is only a little importance (5%) and not essential (5%).


          2.2.10 Disadvantages computer brings

Some choices were given to the respondents for this question. The number of results from 42 responses reveal that nearly half of them attributed that computer was harmful to health and expensive. Another 12 of the respondents thought they relied on computers too much. About 9 responses considered security is another kind of disadvantage. There are some numbers of respondents thought the computer would make them anti-social and it was hard to use. 1 of the respondents stated that being “Too fast” is a kind of disadvantage bring by computer.


2.2.11 Advantages computer brings

The various advantages were given as options for the respondents. “Working more effectively” tops the list with 31 of the respondents considered it as a main advantage. “Getting latest information easily”, “Communicating easily” and “Learning more” were the next popular. On the contrary, “Easy to use” and “Making friends” attracted nearly 14 responses. There were only 2 respondents believed “Relaxation” and “Do things other things cannot do” were other kinds of advantages.


2.2.12 The improvement of computer in future

Respondents wrote down their opinions instead of any given option. Here are the answers of the 70% of the received responses appeared frequently.



3. Conclusion


The majority of the respondents have one or more personal computers in their home, whereas only 2 of them do not have a personal computer. It represents that personal computer almost a standard of equipment in some families; especially for the teenagers. With respect to the findings in question 2, we can believe it is trendy and common for young people nowadays.


The result signified that 38 of the 42 respondents shared their personal computers with their family members. From the result, we could draw a conclusion that the personal computers still remain expensive. People cannot afford to have one computer for themselves. In addition, limited area may be another factor in Hong Kong.


Most respondents' personal computers could connect to the Internet (81%). It indicated that Internet is very popular for people in Hong Kong. While the fee of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is falling, Internet becomes more attractive. Almost all personal computer would assess to the Internet. According to the increasing numbers of personal computers, computers play an important role in our life nowadays (85%). Computers not just a high-speed calculator, it provides a multimedia channel for all computer users. The responses reveal the three main purposes of personal computers were studying (75%), working (45%) and entertainment (80%).


For study, Internet brings an alternative and interactive way of education compared with the traditional teaching method. Hence, it explains why most respondents would like to use the computer for their study. About 50% of respondents would like to work with the personal computers, it represented that computers can increase the effectiveness of the work (from part of the result of question 11). For instance, with the help of additional software, such as Microsoft Office, Windows series, we can almost create and edit all kind of documents and print them in a suitable outlook. Besides documents, people can handle other functions, including audio, video and picture as well. As a result, the vast majority of the respondents stated that the purpose of using computer was entertainment (80%).


While a large percentage of computer users use their computer frequently, it was remarkable that 35% of them spend more than 21 hours a week on computers and over 50% of users spend more than 2 hours a day on computers. It showed the fact that computer is much closer to our daily life. With respect to entertainment, many respondents (38%) say that they would spend 16~20 hours each week. Since the enhancement improves the quality of the computer games and it brings a great excitement to people. On the other hand, most PCs are installed with CD-ROM, and even DVD-ROM devices. They are now commonly offered as standard peripherals for stand-alone computers today, which allow people to listen to music in CD and watch video either VCD or DVD. Personal computers act as a multimedia entertainment center in most families.


Is it essential for everyone own a computer? That's a question in our survey. There are roughly half of the respondents do believe. From the conclusion above, we can’t object that computers have become a part of our life. Not only in family, as we hang around out of our homes, there are still computers around us, “Computer make us work more effectively” is considered as a main advantage by majority of the respondents. With the help of Internet, we can get latest information and communicate with others easily. So roughly half of respondents believed that “Getting information easily” and “learning more” are other advantages. Although, most respondents agreed the main purpose of using computer was entertainment, but it is surprising that only 2 respondents thought that computers could make us relax. There was 2 respondents thought that computer is perfect because they thought that computer is amazing and can “Do things other things cannot do”. These showed still a very little portion of people were too depend and relied on computers psychosomatically.


After all, from the survey, we discovered that people do think that computers bring some disadvantages to us. Nearly half of the respondents thought that computer is harmful to health and it is expensive. People rely too much on computers and the security system of computer program are other major problems. And some respondents thought using computer make them anti- social. From the result, the health problems were their main concern when using computers. And as the increasing number of internetworking and the application of Internet are extended to banking and purchasing, more people will be concerned the security system of their computer and affair they will rely on it too much.


Last for all, although the price of computers have become much cheaper now, but people still expect that the cost of computers could be lower and the size of it can be reduced with higher processing speed. For their great expectation to the development of e-commerce, growth in security in the Internet is expected to continue. While the Operation System and the software application become more user-friendly, but there has a small portion of respondents expect their ease of usage can become much simple.


4. Recommendation


People should use computer in the proper way, such as not to use the computer for a long period (above 3 hours). They should have a short break of about 15 minutes according to the medical research. It is recommended there is a distance gap between the eyes and the monitor, avoid harmful to our eyes.


As discussed above, the standard of personal computer is enhancing and the price is declining. About the security, we recommend the password is the most effective way for protecting personal information. However, some statistics reveal that the number of cracker is increasing rapidly. Thus, Government should provide resources in educating the youngsters.


Finally, people should not “live” in computer’s virtual life, which will just make them anti-social. Computer brings us so many benefits, but communication and friendship between human beings are most important.