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July 26, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fear of Technology Afflicts Many Americans: One-fourth of the nation's adults would not use a computer unless they were forced to, according to a survey by Dell Computer Corp. A quarter of U.S. adults have never used a computer, set a VCR to record a television show or programmed favorite stations on their car radio, the survey showed. Dell said it polled 1,000 adults and 500 teen-agers across the country. Teen-agers are more technically literate than adults, with 92% of the younger set more comfortable using a variety of technical devices, compared with 74% of adults. Computers produced the most anxiety among adults, with 23% saying they were not comfortable using a computer on their own. Thirty-two percent of the adults were intimidated by computers and afraid they might damage the machines without help.

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