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77 per cent of developed world gloomy about the future, poll shows

A global poll has found a high rate of self-proclaimed happiness amongst people in the developed world, but results also indicate a fear of what the future may bring.

The IPSOS MORI survey was (predictably) topped by Sweden's figure of 88 per cent, with Australia (85%) and the US (83%) in second and third.

European countries were found to be less content, Spain placing last with 59 per cent. The UK came in close to the average at 76 per cent.

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The survey also asked participants to agree or disagree with the statement, "I wish my life was more simple". 53 per cent of UK citizens agreed, as did 78 per cent of Chinese respondents. The global average registered as 60 per cent.

77 per cent of those questioned exhibited anxiety about the speed of global change, with more than half expressing a desire to slow down the pace of their lives. 61 per cent said that technology was part of the solution, not the problem.

Ipsos Mori chief executive, Ben Page, assessed the findings: "Against a pessimistic backdrop, this report shows the global public's tendency towards nostalgia, allied to a strong sense that traditions are important, and a desire for a slower pace of life and simplification."

"Nostalgia should not be over-stated though; in both developed (42 per cent) and emerging (47 per cent) economies, many do not want their country to be the way it used to be. But 77 per cent think the world is changing too fast and 48 per cent that they often feel overwhelmed with life choices. Nostalgia possibly comes from the faux certainty of the past; we think that most people do not want to go back, but they do want more clarity about what the future holds. And they want help in navigating the choices available."

I think from time to time many of us do feel a certain nostalgia for simpler times. Along these lines, a YouTube video called Look Up went viral earlier this year after it connected social media usage with loneliness.

For more results from the survey, click here.

What's your view? Have we lost a golden age of simplicity or do we need to learn to use technology better? Let us know in the brand new ITProPortal Spot down towards the bottom left of the screen.