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CYBERCULTURE | HEARD ON THE BEAT

Merry Mouse-keteers: Los Angeles is dominated by "mouse potatoes."

March 23, 1998|KAREN KAPLAN

That's the conclusion of a massive new Forrester Research study that examines people's attitudes toward technology and how they use it. Analysts at the Cambridge, Mass.-based market research firm looked at 120,000 survey responses from consumers in the U.S. and Canada and found that 56% of Angelenos have embraced technology, especially for entertainment purposes.

Across North America, 51% of consumers are optimistic about technology, and just over half of them have high enough incomes to adopt the latest high-tech gadgets, from personal computers to DVD players. Their motivations for buying are basically split among career, family and entertainment, according to the report.

In Los Angeles, demand for entertainment dominates among those who are technology-friendly (hence the "mouse potato" moniker). But 23% of consumers here have neither the income nor the interest to join the technology haves, compared with 29% overall.

Although L.A. is considered more forward-looking than the rest of North America, it still trails San Francisco, where 43% have adopted cutting-edge technology and an additional 16% are eager to join them as soon as prices fall.

The survey also found that the primary factor separating the technology haves from the have-nots is not income, but whether they are technology optimists or pessimists, said Forrester principal analyst Josh Bernoff. Of the 57% of survey respondents who don't already own a personal computer, 36% said they have no plan to buy one no matter how cheap they get.

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