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More than 20 percent will buy gadget for back-to-school kids, survey says

Technically Incorrect: Americans reveal themselves to be neurotic about back-to-school online shopping, according to a new survey. But many will be buying laptops, phones or tablets for their little ones.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Can any schoolkid live without one? CNET

America needs a new neurosis like Donald Trump needs a new TV interview.

There simply aren't enough panic-sources in the world for us to feel as if we're sufficiently worry-warted Americans.

It was no surprise, therefore, when I stumbled upon a survey that declared: "91 Percent of Back-to-School Online Shoppers Find Making Online Purchases Stressful."

It's not entirely clear from the numbers whether 91 percent of Americans find online shopping stressful, or whether the mere notion of failing their poor Jocastas and Jeremys makes American parents shiver with fright.

The survey insisted that 30 percent of Americans are worried about credit card security and 27 percent about load times. And 25 percent still worry about a page crashing just as they're completing an order of the finest purple linen blazers for their back-to-school child.

You'll be wondering who sponsored this analysis of the angst-ridden American mind. This survey was given to me exclusively by SOASTA.

Stunningly, this company's business revolves around ensuring that Web sites don't crash at the neediest moments. SOASTA employed Harris Poll to ask 2,056 adults about their back-to-school shopping intentions. The survey was conducted between July 14 and 16.

One statistic leaped out at me, though, like a drunken daddy after a parent-teacher meeting that went astray.

It seems 22 percent of the respondents said they intended to buy their little progeny a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet.

It's remarkable to think that so many parents believe gadgets are now an essential of back-to-school life. It used to be that the only gadget seen at school was the calculator.

While laptops and tablets might indeed aid education (or not), smartphones have become phones of contention at so many schools.

Who can forget the Philadelphia school principal who not only confiscated an iPhone 6 from a student, but also sternly explained to the student's father that the school would be keeping it for a while?

There's a sense that many schools would dearly love it if smartphones were entirely banned from the classroom. Yet here are Americans buying their kids these very phones, presumably on the pretext of security.

What did parents do before phones came along? Did they worry less? Did they simply trust their environment more?

I find my own eyes begin to twitch as I consider the stresses of these American adults. This isn't made better by more numbers from this survey.

Harris Poll asked when these adults would be doing their back-to-school online shopping. A fulsome 32 percent said that they'd do it "when I'm on the go." Another 22 percent revealed: "In bed, before I go to sleep."

Can America ever relax?