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Iowans Slowly Becoming More Tech Savvy

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) In an age when most information is just a quick search away, some corridor residents say that weve  become too dependent on our gadgets.    But the reality is, its hard to go through the day without being at least a little tech savvy.

"The days I forget my phone I feel out of the loop almost, said Iowa Junior Sam Fourman. Even if nobody's texted me or even if I don't need to look anything up."

Whether its texting a friend, looking for a job or paying a bill, Iowans are increasingly connected, for better or worse.

"It would be like somebody who didn't bring their hearing aids that day, said IT Professional Greg Johnson. You're going to be out of communication with people because that's how people communicate."

The US Census numbers show Iowans are more connected to the internet than other states, but many in the state still struggle to learn how to best use it.

"Technology fluency has shifted sort of a job requirement to a life skills requirement, said Johnson.

Some people have traded in their newspapers for the digital version, on smart phones and tablets. But without knowing how to use that newer technology, it can be information overload.

"When you Google something and you get 39,000 results, how are you going to know which one's right," asked Iowa City Public Library Librarian Beth Fisher.

To help with that, the Iowa City Public Library holds Tech Help Drop-In sessions. It gives some the knowledge they need to get by.

"We get people who might be trying to get their paycheck and maybe their boss has said, 'You have to log into this website, said Iowa City Public Librarys Bond Drager.

And the staff says its not just older folks who need help.

"It's people who've gotten a new device and aren't sure what to do with it or aren't sure they're using it most effectively, said Fisher.

So just how wired are we? The census shows that 76% of households here have a computer. On the other hand, more than 11% of all Iowa farmers, in the age of the smart phone, are still using dial-up modems.
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