Millennium issues gain prominence

More than half of those surveyed in a recent U.S. poll agree that Y2K is one of the most important issues facing the country. Fifty-six percent disagreed with the statement that Y2K is “basically a technical issue that doesn’t require my attention.”

The survey, conducted in January by the New York-based Media Studies Center, explored a number of media-related Y2K issues. With increased Y2K coverage accompanying the new year, awareness of the Y2K issue also grew. More than half of those surveyed said they had seen or heard “a great deal” about the year 2000 computer issue.

Worry about the effects of Y2K is stable at about 34 % of respondents, who felt that “the year 2000 computer problem will cause the rest of the world major problems.” Similarly, just one person in eight (13%) said they expected the Y2K issue to cause major problems for them personally, almost identical to the 14% found in a similar Gallup survey conducted in December.

The Media Studies Center survey found that one in four people (25%) were concerned that Y2K would cause major problems in the United States. But most (70%) feel that actions such as building shelters, stockpili food and withdrawing money from banks and other investments in anticipation of Y2K is an “overreaction” to the situation. Twenty five percent believe that “some of these actions may be appropriate.”

Whatever your personal feelings on Y2K and its ramifications, information is the best defence against anything that does happen next year. Stay informed, and you’ve got Y2K beaten!