Personal technology is seen as overwhelming positive except when it comes to privacy and safety

01-22SurfaceProLeft_Print_r1_c1_2 Personal technology is seen as overwhelming positive except when it comes to privacy and safety

Technology is everywhere and has permeated every aspect of our lives. From laptop and tablets, through the internet and wireless connectivity, to smartphones and wearable devices, technology is something we have come to rely on. But has it had a positive or a negative impact on your life? The immediate response probably finds you veering towards positive, but the more you think about it, the more complex a question it is. Microsoft realized this and surveyed 10,000 internet users to find out how they viewed technology.

In a blog post, and at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Executive Vice President, Advertising & Strategy at Microsoft, Mark Penn revealed the results of the survey. The numbers speak for themselves — technology is viewed as being a hugely positive influence in most areas of life. But there are a few notable exceptions.

Looked at in terms of literacy, family bonds, personal safety, and privacy, many people are able to see the negative impact of technology — the spread of text speak and prevalence of social networks are probably partly to blame here.

Where technology is seen as being especially helpful is for business and productivity. It is seen as something of a democratizing thing, opening up opportunities to groups of people who would not otherwise have access to them. Mark Penn points out that technology is seen as being “key to creating job opportunities and helping bridge economic gaps.”

But privacy and security are the sticking points; high-profile new stories such as the NSA revelation have not helped to instill confidence. But there are interesting cultural differences in opinion. In developing countries parents are keen for their children to have increased access to technology, while in developed countries they are more inclined to look for limitations. Other interesting findings include the fact that people in Germany are the least willing to sacrifice privacy for security, while those in India are most open.

What’s your view of technology? Can’t get enough, or see the need for some form of limitations? Has it had a positive or negative impact on your life?