when technology encourages you to stay at home

“My apartment has become a haven of peace”digital project manager Christine, 28, summarizes. “Since I work from home three days a week, I have rearranged my interior. I created an office space in the living room, invested in a computer and redecorated the bedroom, This Parisian, without children, says in a couple. I was already too busy decorating, but it made me want to be home more often tenfold. »

In the morning, Kristina has small tasks. “I prepare myself as if I were going to the office, I put myself in working conditions, he says. At first I stayed in my pajamas and was always tempted to do something else, which was unmanageable in the long run. he admits. Today I am much better organized and working from home is a real comfort. »

To get to work, the young woman does not have much time to travel, but she is happy to stay “at home”. He feels so good there that he no longer travels “big races of the month”, do it online. It also replaced trips to cinemas with watching series or movies on video-on-demand platforms.. “I keep going out, but I think twice about it for the cinema” he specifies.

On the other hand, he opens his door more to his friends. “I love to receive, and today I do it more than ever,” he is happy.

A digital cocoon

Like many French women, the young woman is taking advantage of digital technology to reinvest in her home and devote more time to her personal life. “to manage better”, but also to save money. Christine has created a kind of “digital cocoon” or “techno-cocoon” in which she loves to nest, according to writer Alain Damasio.

“Home, the most emotional word for housing, is by definition a protective place that protects us from external aggressions. But the concept of a digital cocoon seems antinomian to me, Pascal Dreyer, coordinator of Leroy Merlin France’s Housing Research network, observes. Rather, new technologies bring home the outside world, which has been occupied by new functions since the development of telecommuting. »

Jerome gets the impression that these tools protect him somewhat from this outside world, which he says he is not always very comfortable with. “I prefer to work remotely. I have a good relationship with my colleagues, but we don’t communicate much because we have to work on the same projects, This 37-year-old computer developer explains. I find that it’s easier to send a message on the internal messaging system than to talk directly to the person who might be busy then, adds. It is also through this kind of application “communicates a lot” with friends that he “I don’t see it very often”.

Desire to retreat?

He renovated his apartment near Rennes to make it more comfortable and suitable for remote working. She shops and places orders at the grocery store “rest” online. “Going to the shops is often stressful for me”, admits. On the other hand, he continues to go to the movies. “It’s a different experience” he said. But apart from these trips, he prefers to stay at home.

There was a time when new technologies, on the other hand, were synonymous with openness, recalls sociologist Sophie Cehel. “A 2008 report on the cultural experiences of the French found that the more people used digital tools, the more they went out because they had more connections and were better informed. » Should we be concerned about this retreating trend?

“The pandemic and incarceration have clearly marked a turning point in digital usage, but we’ve also seen an attraction for green spacesshade Sophie Jehel. Things are always complicated. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that remote working only applies to the privileged classes: according to the figures of INSEE, 55% of managers, less than 20% of employees and 0% of workers. And then working remotely is not only a blessing, but also has limitations, especially if the residence is small. »

Anthropological change

Still, with the rise of digital usage, some French people are hiding at home. An observation that alarmed the writer and philosopher Pascal Bruckner Slipper ritual (1). “French society is won by troglodytism, the desire to curl up in a house and apartment in a world considered dangerous. Technological progress accelerates this trend and makes the sofa the new throne of the modern man.analyzes.

The author sees the advantages here: “Saving time, money, and reinventing your home and loved ones. » But if this trend were to be confirmed and prevail, “Our whole relationship with the public sphere will be changedwarns. A sedentary society hunched over their screen, threatened by overweight, terrorized by outsiders, would mark a real anthropological shift. »


The rise of digital uses

92% of the population aged 12 and over regularly access the Internet, According to the 2022 edition of the Digital Barometer. This is nearly 100% of young people, as well as 96% of 60-69 year olds and 63% of 70 and over, with an increase of more than ten points in one year for the latter two categories.

During Covid-19-related arrests,digital usage has intensified: 75% of people 18 and older used these tools to communicate with loved ones, 33% worked remotely, and 26% received medical advice online.

32 hours per week: this is the average time the French spend in front of the screen: 17 hours for watching TV, 8 hours for watching videos on the Internet and 6 hours for video games.

84% of Internet users shop online. These consumers make up 77% of the population. 13% of them shop once or twice a week, 36% shop monthly, and 42% shop several times a year.

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