Are basic life skills dying out in the digital age? Well, the short answer appears to be yes. A recent survey of 2,000 UK adults – 1,000 under 45s and 1,000 over 45s – has revealed that, as a nation, we are now lacking essential skills to run a house or maintain a car.
Over 53% of respondents that drive admitted they cannot change a car tyre. It gets worse. More than sixty percent stated that they are incapable of fixing a simple bike puncture.
In the olden days when home or motor maintenance raised their heads most people would ask their dad or, to a lesser extent, their mum Now they’re more likely to ask Google when in need of practical advice. Most people are guilty of turning to the internet for answers in today’s tech-savvy world, but just how much does this affect people’s ability to DIY? These days it’s more YDI – You Do It!
You have to wonder, is ‘Generation Rent’ to blame for the lack of household skills in the young? Those that live at home can call on the parental units but whilst trying to save the impossible sum to buy a home many in the rental market turn to their landlords or professionals to deal with jobs around the home instead of teaching themselves how to do it.
And it’s not just changing a car tyre either. The survey, conducted by Tyre Shopper, reveals that (on average) nearly half of respondents (44%) cannot unblock a toilet. Other findings reveal that more than 7 out of 10 people aren’t able to fix a leaky tap in their home.
When it comes to generation gaps, it is the 18-24 year age group who seem to fall short of practical life skills, with nearly seventy percent unable to descale a kettle. Likewise, less than one third of the same demographic said they could change a fuse in a plug, compared to 8 out of 10 of the 55+ respondents.
Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents reach for the search engine option for help with their housekeeping problems. It also seems people are choosing tech over a tradesman (10%), with more people using, interestingly, YouTube (19%) when searching for help.
However, despite the younger generation’s supposed familiarity with technology, when it comes to a simple task such as backing up a computer, only 59% of 18-24 year old respondents said that they could do it – surprisingly similar to the 56% of over 55s, meaning that even today computers can still baffle both generations.
This is how the top ten stats stack up:
Fix a leaking tap – 53%
Fix a bike puncture – 63%
Change a tyre – 53%
Check car coolant – 51%
Hang wallpaper – 55%
Put up a shelf – 53%
Unblock a toilet – 44%
Back up a computer – 45%
Descale a kettle – 33%
Change a fuse in a plug – 32%
James Kelly, spokesperson for Tyre Shopper, said: “It benefits us greatly, to teach ourselves how to complete simple household and car repairs. Not only will this make our lives easier, it will also save us a significant amount of money on costly repairs and maintenance chargers. It is important we don’t forget the basics when it comes to building up our practical skills in life.”