New Microsoft Survey Shows Impact of Personal Technology on the World

By Steve Anderson January 24, 2014

When it comes to technology, almost everyone has a differing viewpoint. Some would love to return to a world before the influx of tech swept in and took our lives with it, a pre-smartphone Mayberry of a world where work was a nine-to-five affair that stopped at the end of the day by general agreement instead of carrying on all day, every day. But others believe that technology has changed the way everything in life happens, and commonly for the better. A new survey from Microsoft holds that, whether in developed or developing nations, personal technology is making lives better.

The study in question, titled “Views from Around the Globe: How Personal Technology is Changing Our Lives,” took a look at 10,000 people from 10 different nations. Though there were differences to be had based on region—particularly in how the developed and developing markets view technology as a whole—there was still one common thread that we were all better off thanks to technology.

For instance, large portions of the world seemed to agree that personal technology powers innovation, and gives people the necessary tools to start a business. People coming from the so-called BRIC nations—Brazil, Russia, India and China—commonly held to a belief that job opportunities were created from personal technology, and economic gaps were increasingly bridged thanks to these technologies.

Differences, as noted previously, did emerge based on region. Indeed, the Chinese respondents noted that increased personal freedom was a side effect of technology, more so than any other country surveyed. The Indian respondents particularly noted that technology offered new opportunities in terms of healthcare, health in general, and in education. Brazilians frequently noted that personal technology had an impact on the arts and culture overall, while both China and India noted in large numbers that, overall, the quality of life in those areas were improved thanks to personal technology.

However, the increases of personal technology didn't come without concerns. Issues of personal safety, privacy, and the family bond came up with personal technology, but in developing countries, more users were willing to trade privacy for security. The issue of how much technology should be in the children's hands, however, proved wildly divergent by region, with developing nations encouraging more hardware for the children and developed nations wanting some limits.

The study's divergences were likely expected on many fronts, as those with less in the way of personal technology sought more for not only the current generation, but for the next as well. Developed nations, those  who have already seen the value of technology but also its pitfalls, were looking to restrain at least somewhat the technology in play. Indeed, even the developing nations see some of the impact of personal technology, as expressed by the concerns in these areas like impact to the family bond, often hit by family members preferring to spend personal time engaged in personal pursuits, rather than in family togetherness.

There are indeed issues to be surmounted when it comes to personal technology, but knowing about these issues in advance allows for measures to be taken in a bid to prevent these from being problems. The common thread the world over is that technology makes our lives better in a host of different ways, and looking at the sheer number of applications for personal technology, it's easy to see why people think that way, no matter where these people live.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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