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OFWs make Philippines Asia’s most hi-tech

/ 03:11 AM November 13, 2011

The large number of Filipinos overseas has made the Philippines one of the most tech-savvy countries in Asia, with a significant part of the population using different technology tools to keep in touch with family members abroad.

According to a survey conducted by software giant Microsoft, Filipino families have an average of 10 gadgets, the highest in the region, which they use to communicate with their loved ones in other parts of the country and the world.

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Believers in technology

As many as 69 percent of those polled in the Philippines said they taught family members how to use the Internet just to be able to stay in touch with each other.

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The importance of technology in the lives of Filipinos becomes much more evident during the holiday season with 46 percent of the respondents saying they would spend between 15 and 30 minutes a day to communicate with their loved ones, while another 23 percent said they would spend at least an hour.

“The findings show that technology has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives. Filipinos are big believers that technology helps us to communicate better, and it is obvious from the rate of adoption that everyone from young kids to grandparents is finding technology easier to use,” said Mae Moreno, Microsoft Philippines Windows Client product manager.

Social networks preferred

Unlike in other parts of Asia where the telephone is still the medium of choice for communicating with family members and loved ones, Filipinos are more inclined to use social networks to stay in touch.

More than a third, or 34 percent, of Philippine respondents named social networks as their most preferred family communications tool.

In China and Indonesia, text messaging reigned supreme, as cited by 74 percent and 41 percent, respectively, of those polled.

Across the region, however, the telephone was still the most important medium of communication, cornering a 67 percent share of total responses in the seven countries included in the survey.

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Love for sharing photos

One reason Filipinos prefer to use social networking sites as a means to stay in touch with loved ones is their love for taking and sharing photos, something that cannot be done when talking over the phone, the survey said.

As many as 73 percent of the Filipinos polled said photos were their most-often shared content on social networks, against the regional average of 50 percent.

Impact on family

“The results of the poll show that the popular notion of technology being a purely negative influence on family relationships is a misconception,” Moreno said.

The poll revealed that as many as 89 percent of Filipinos believed that technology had a good impact on family relationships, with 28 percent saying this had a “very positive” impact.

The survey, “Families and Technology 2011,” was conducted via MSN in seven countries across Asia, including the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It had more than 3,700 respondents.

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TOPICS: electronic gadgets, Microsoft, Overseas Filipino Workers, social networking sites, tech-savvy countries
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