Technology

Half of Americans Say Computer and Cell Phone Are Necessities

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Like a work-oriented snail, I carry my office everywhere I go. My computer and phone fit into my purse (admittedly a large purse) and I get antsy when I don't have Internet access. A growing number of Americans are with me on this, according to today's Pew Research Center daily email:

Pew's hierarchy of needs

The surprise hit: Microwaves, which 68 percent now consider a necessity. 

Far more interesting than any particular difference in the 1996 and 2006 figures, though, is the fact that four things which essentially didn't exist in 1996 became necessities for significant portions of the population 10 years later. 

(Additional note: I wonder if iPhones and the like will do strange things to the growth figures on computers and high speed Internet?)