“Harmful Commodity”: Truths and Myths about Computer

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For 53% of Russians computer is the “main commodity of the XX century”.But many also recognize that it is harmful to health.

For the 25th anniversary of the launch of the IBM personal computer the All-Russian Center on Public Opinion Research (VCIOM) undertook a study dedicated to what judgments about this technical device’s impact on human health respondents agree. Sociologists also tried to find out what Russians recognize as the main “commodity of the XX century” that considerably changed the man's life. Thus, the telephone (73%) and the computer (53%) were those inventions that changed the man's life most of all in the past century. The car ranks third (51%). Our fellow citizens also rate the Internet (42%) and television (39%) among the most important discoveries.

About a third of respondents consider the banking card and refrigerator (31%), the aircraft (30%) to be the main “commodities” of the XX century. 26% of them show preference in this issue to the invention of electric light bulbs. Less often Russians indicate the role of the underground railway and warm toilet (17%).

For ten years the importance of these inventions has increased. It primarily concerns the telephone (particularly, a mobile phone) - from 8 to 73%, and the car - from 9 to 51%.

Russians acknowledge that the computer has adverse health effects. Thus, 80% agree to the thesis that it is harmful to eyesight. 74% believe that it has greater adverse effect on children. 72% of respondents believe that it emits harmful electromagnetic radiation. In addition, respondents incline to believe that a long stay at a computer is addictive (58%) and the noise produced by it has an adverse affect on human mental health (48%).

In addition, our fellow citizens incline to believe that the computer likes gentle handling (43%) and works better if operated by its owner (39%). 36% also believe that cactuses near the monitor make the computer work less harmful.

The computer owners more frequently recognize its harmful effect on eyesight (87%), as well as the fact that the children suffer more from its negative effect (79%). In addition, in this group an opinion that the computer is addictive is prevailing (60%).