The impact of new technology, especially in the developed world, is apparent all around us in the way we communicate, run business and understand the world.
But the new century has seen questions arise about how rapid and how extensive the information revolution will be.
Will the internet turn out to be a radical force for uniting and democratising the world, as some have prophesied - or will it cause deeper divisions between the haves and the have-nots?
Delegates to a United Nations summit on information technology in December failed to approve practical measures to deliver the internet and other technologies to the world's poorest regions.
Despite agreement on lofty principles, negotiators could not agree on key questions such as whether a UN agency should be created to govern the internet and whether to create a separate fund for projects to close the technology gap between rich and poor nations.
How have computers, the internet, e-mail and mobile phones changed your life? Should information technology be available to all? Are there downsides as well as upsides to these technological advances? How have they changed the way we do business?
This debate is now closed. Here is a selection of your comments.
My husband and I are attempting to be luddites here - we don't have mobiles or a computer at home, and our only 'phone is in the bedroom attached to an answering machine. As you can see we like to escape technology in our free time!
Janet, Morecambe, UK
Yes the new technology brought many changes to my life. Specially the internet and the mobile phones. I use my mobile phone as phone, camera, voice recorder, dairy, alarm clock watch...
Jawad Zeerak, Kabul, Afghanistan.
The most impact technology had on my life is through the new video game systems. I own an Xboxs game system, now through my high speed internet connection I can play any game such as NBA 2k4 with any one in the world who owns an Xbox.
That's pretty cool!!!
Jamal Abdur-Rahim, New York, USA
I've worked with Computers for more than 20 years. I've used email since 1985 and my first mobile phone was the size of a brick. Unfortunately, my Golf game is still inconsistent, my cooking skills have not improved, and I still drink too much beer! Technology is a tool - I refuse to let it rule my life!
It's made it possible to find out what is REALLY going on, rather than relying on the official media to feed me only what it wants me to be fed.
Technology certainly changed my life better and worse. In case of an accident, I can contact with somebody with my mobile immediately. My computer makes simple to keep my lots of documents. The internet and e-mail made me easier to get information and news, to contact with my friends who live around the world. But technology sometimes tires me because I always have to be careful about computer viruses. And it sometimes loses me an opportunity to meet my friends directly.
Technology has changed my life by allowing me to talk to my friends as long as I want and allowing me to communicate all over the world for different ideas about things.
Nick, SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA
The new technology sure beats using yelling.
Rex, New York
Technology has made our lives very fast, very convenient, and very lonely. We interact with machines for 8-10 hours a day and spend less than 2-3 hours interacting with another humans.
We are living in an age without precedent. We can no longer look to history to predict how our future will shape. Technology has changed our lives in many ways. I worry about who controls the technology that influences our lives, the potential for abuse has grown so widespread that our long lived perception of the world change so rapidly. It's easy to see how that can be exploited.
Daniel, UK, Leeds
Technology has greatly lessened my appreciation for film-making. Special effects that once took incredible imagination and artistic skill are now done mostly by drones peering into a PC screen, mouse in hand. Call me a traditionalist, but I have much greater respect for those who brought us the tornado scene in "The Wizard of Oz" and the hand-drawn cells of "Fantasia" than I do for those who created "The Matrix" or "Finding Nemo".
Robert, Charlotte, NC, USA
Advances in technology are wonderful. That is till the power goes out. Then you sit in your home and realize just how dependent you've become on the gadgets and devices that surround you. Work and play stops, children scratch their heads not knowing what to do. As our society has advanced, we seem to have become much more fragile at the same time.
Chris B, Canada
Technology is great in a way that it makes communication faster and easier but is also worrying that we talk to people less when we e-mail and SMS more.
Tan Joo Eng, Singapore
I am scared of the fast way the technology is developing. It is just a matter of time when some clever boy will find a way to break into very deadly areas. I am also scared that there is no privacy anymore when using communication technology, the big brothers are watching every move, words you say or hear, you can run but you can not hide.
Mike Aziz, Vancouver, Canada
Technology must be paid for and developed from the public purse more, so that it can be distributed free to all as soon as it is developed, and not just when the inventing global corporation has finished milking it for all it can.
Mike Bolsover, Newark, UK
The democratizing influence of the internet is automatic. It is exclusivist in as much as access comes slowly and with a cost, but it is without a doubt a way of having a voice without an official standing.
Jonathan Allen, Cambridge, USA
In fact, it has brought good and bad to different people. The major disadvantage of it is that it has made so many people lazy. In my university here in the Estonia, information is only shared through internet and you don't even know who is talking. They stay at home and send messages. They refused to participate in school activities expecting to read it through the internet.
Opara Victor, Nigerian in Estonia
With the internet I can contact nearly anyone, anywhere. With mobile phones now I am easily available to people who want to contact me. With e-mail I can read the news from UN, BBC, New York Times or Times of India.
Sewree, Mumbai, India
Computers and the internet have real possibilities here, but the poor must first learn to read. Let's try and use technology to improve and "fast forward" some of those wanting to learn but that are kept back by commercial interests.
Victor D, Thailand
It's really changed my work style, via mobile and wireless communication.
Nawaid, Pune, India
Technology may have improved but people and society has not. New devices create new challenges but also risks. The plane crash is an example. Great technology, shame we cannot use it properly.
Technology is creating idleness in the world and that is why we see so many "disturbances - in all forms" around the world.
Andy, New Jersey, USA
As advanced machines and computers can do the work of several persons at a stroke, it has caused unemployment all over the world.
Hyder Ali Pirwany, Okehampton, England
Don't talk to me about new technology, we can't get digital or channel 5, and yet can see the Heathfield transmitter from our upstairs windows!
Bartons, Uckfield, UK
I recently visited my home village in Southern Zambia. They still a have a clunky telephone exchange but I was still able to dial my ISP in Lusaka, download mail, visit the BBC website and make an IP-relay call to my wife in Arlington, Texas. So much for new technology - invaluable if you ask me.
David Kabamf, Arlington, Texas
It has provided my employer with the ability to get 3 times the work out of me in the same time. Great for my employer, huh.
I start a new job on the 5th, obtained purely on IT skills I have taught myself over the last few years. I guess technology has changed my life because I can now get paid for doing something I enjoy immensely, and get a lot of respect for.
Peter Jackson, Portsmouth, UK
Yes, technology has made life so easy and convenient for most of us that we are now facing an enormous obesity problem around the globe.
Kent, San Francisco, USA
New information and communication technology has become indispensable for quick access to information from all over the world, from different sources, by a click of a button. It is also a research tool, a means for fostering decision-making processes, open dialogue, like this one, for reaching out to others. It is an interactive global village.
Safaa Moussa, Cairo, Egypt
Overall positively as I now have instant communication with my children living in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland as well as my 90 year old father in the States and brothers and a sister living there as well. Arranging a reunion over the web is a lot easier.
Paul Pekar, Panicale-Casalini, Italy
Technology has certainly changed my life. The internet gave me the chance to regain employment and self respect after six years off work following a car crash.
New technology has certainly changed my life. It's given me something to do during my downtimes at the office.
T.J. Cassidy, Arlington, U.S.A.
New technology has in some respects made life easier but there is an over abundance of devices that are simply a waste of time. Yet they create jobs which is a major goal of governments. Perhaps time has come to evaluate our way of life, with a return to basics that moves away from creating new products just to make more money for the few. Capitalism with its hunger for riches by making new things is proving to be a disease without a cure. Time for a cure perhaps?
All this talk of the internet creating a society of isolated loners - Such baloney! There's no evidence for it so why do people cite it? Its groundless received information. Sociable persons socialise and accept no substitute. That's the way its always been.
Don Swift, B'ham, West Midlands
I could not survive without online shopping via a supermarket. I am disabled and wheelchair-bound. I have no mobility since my electric scooter broke down, and there is no help from Social Services. I would starve without a computer and the internet.
Prabhakari, Norwich, U.K.
I now work from home and conduct most of my business via e-mail and text. I now have a record of when contact was made with my clients and what was said. No more messages left on answer phones ad nausea. This has saved me hours and hours to concentrate on other things. I limit internet spam by disabling cookies and keeping my anti-spam software updated. Mobile phones, the internet and e-mail have liberated me in my late 50's.
Msmo, London UK
Recent and not so recent changes in technology continue to make me more and more grateful for the OFF button.
Erik, Leeds, England
The new technology, especially the internet and GSM has completely improved my disposition and capacity to communicate with so many of my loved ones without the inhibitions of time and space prevalent before their advent.
Chukwukadibia Nwoye, Lagos, Nigeria
This web site, and opinion page is a great example of how technology has changed lives.
I am able to communicate with people around the world, share opinions, etc.
Margaret, Portland USA
Someone may have said this already but my penultimate job was submitted by email, my last job by internet forum, and the job interview next week came from an internet based job agency, BEFORE the newspaper that owns it put the ad in the paper. So I wouldn't have had these jobs/opportunities without technology.
Ken, London, England
New technology is the boon for the rich countries and curse for the poor countries. Because rich countries have got chance to dominate the poor countries by dint of their developed technology. It's also the causes of deeper divisions between poor and rich.
Abdur Rahman Bikrom, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Great impact on lives both good and bad but the intent is not very noble. War and markets dictate everything. Our new technology is old military technology.
Z Abbasi, UK
I have recently begun research in astronomy with the Spitzer Space Program, and I can say with the utmost confidence that astronomy research today would be impossible without computers, telephones, e-mail, etc. And as a student, not yet out of university, I can only imagine how much more integral these technologies will become in my future.
David, Geneva, NY
Remember technology comes from man. And nature is its own master. It was here before us and might possibly be here after us. Man's knowledge can be flawed and can cause more long term harm than the short term good it provides. So therefore we need to find a balance between our greed and laziness, and our natural world.
Anthony Charles, Rugby
We got broadband a few months ago. I have just had 'flu. The ability to work from home has prevented me going into the office too soon, meaning a more rapid recovery than usual and, possibly, less chance of infecting my colleagues. An unforeseen but significant benefit!
Kathy Wilson, Long Itchington, UK
The internet is wonderful in many ways. For example, I now can't imagine trying to find and book a hotel without it.
But the trouble with technology is that it is still dependent on humans. I have tried internet supermarket shopping from some of the big supermarkets, and all the technology in the world can't change the fact that the order is still processed and delivered by morons, who are completely incapable of delivering what I ordered.
Adam, London, UK
Technology is THE new evolution. There is no need for humans to evolve to the ever changing world. If a task is too difficult then we invent something that over comes the problem. Maybe this is why the world is becoming so lazy?
Sam, Ipswich, England
It's clearly not improved everyone's lives equally. Mine is much improved because there are now more sources of news and communication aside from market-driven media, which pervades all of American life. This technologically minor enhancement seems to provide the rare opportunity for US citizens to see beyond their borders to the 95% of the world beyond. Furthermore, I no longer have to stay up until midnight to see or hear the BBC news!
Jason, Lexington, USA
It's making the world a smaller place. Now I get to meet more people. The more people you meet the more headache you get.
I remember the first computer delivered to the University I worked at. It filled an area of 30 square meters, was airtight and those who worked it were dressed in white uniforms and were looked upon as very untouchable. Today my lap top carried over a thousand times more information in about a thousand times faster and is a thousand times more efficient. I am frightened to go and buy a new one because no sooner I own it, it is out of date! Most of my lessons are conducted by email, live and on the web. I have been teaching Philosophy for 35 years and know more now than I have ever done before
Professor Georges Didier, Lidkoping, Sweden
Has it occurred to anyone that the amount of time we spend calling technical support, waiting for websites to load, or rebooting windows for the 93rd time, has probably cancelled out all the benefits of the technological age...
Eight year ago when I started my job I used to do my work using a calculator, pen and paper. Now it is all done by computer which is much faster and easier, also I can always contact sales reps via mobile phone. The down side is that I am completely reliant on the computer and my mental arithmetic and spelling skills have declined with increased use, if the computer system went down for any length of time I doubt I could revert to the old way of working. Now a net surfing addict I find the internet is making me fat as I can surf for hours on end looking for information that I don't really need rather than spending time outdoors or getting exercise.
Mike, Leeds UK
Technology makes my life better. I can meet people from over the world and I know what's happening in the world just from my pc. Then I can join here; say what's on my mind. Well basically technology makes everything better as long as we can control it.
New technology will always make a difference as it always has, whether it is the invention of the wheel, the discovery of electricity or the internet.
Despite the internets apparently inherent knack for being a vast conduit for porn, there is now an immense amount of information at peoples fingertips. And lets not forget the newfound pleasure of knowing who you're ignoring when they call you on a mobile.
Technology has managed to isolate and de-humanise us in a way that dictators in the past only dreamed of! Community has been eroded and instead of working less, people tend to work more and surveys suggest that we're no happier now than we were 50 years ago. In fact, the only thing I can think of that we have a lot more of now than we used to have 50 years ago... is debt!
Clive M-Y, Sevenoaks, UK
People would rather "text" each other than actually call (which takes less time?). People send email to people who work in the same office. So much personal interaction has gone that the way humans deal with each other will change irrevocably over the next decade. Less patience (can you imagine that?), less tolerance, and more need to feel fulfilled instantly. It's awful.
CjL, Tokyo, Japan
Like all good things it comes at a price: it's addictive, keeps changing, and is expensive at the sharp end!
Technology does make difference. Where would people from Nokia, Sony, Samsung etc go without it. At least it is feeding a sizable number of people of this world.
Suraj Chhetri, Kathmandu, Nepal
Technology is both good and bad. It makes a lot of things faster and easier - both good and bad. We treat our sick faster, we kill so many faster; it's so much easier to meet people, it's also easy to dupe them through the same media. Technology is just a necessary evil!
Kayode Oloke, PH, Nigeria
If technology is as advanced as we think, then why do animations of Beagle 2 unfolding look disturbingly like a self-assembling flat pack? In the same vein and with a lengthening silence from Mars, my contention is that neither Beagle 2, nor any passing Martians, could understand the assembly instructions.
Chris Hunter, Bedford, England
I don't think technology has influenced me one bit. Once I finish posting this reply on the internet from my PC, I'm going to go listen to a CD, watch some TV, have a microwave dinner and go to sleep. Yep, no influence whatsoever.
Adrian, Stamford, England
Yes, with over 300 channels on the TV, I have little time to think for myself anymore. BUT technology is not at fault. We should use it wisely.
Nathan Brown, MACON, USA
Hello BBC, hello UK, we live in the age of information, so we should deal with others in polite and easy way, now adays we can contact others round the world, well educated people, open mind people can gather them selves in world wide digital community. Thanks.
Khalil Darwish, Amman- Jordan
At last we managed to change the mindset of my 87 year old, literate, articulate mother - who still plays the violin and leads two quartets - into working with email, so staying in touch with the family on their travels (and travails). Sadly, because of the SPAM revolution, we are now trying to dissuade her. No way would she be able to cope with the invitations to extend her penis, or buy Viagra on-line. How sad to deprive the elderly of this useful tool, by allowing this to continue.
Jill Todd, London, UK
Technology makes things faster. From stones to metals to machines to computer, we have constantly gained speed. Just like driving a faster car requires more vigilance and responsibility we require greater vigilance in running a modern society. Let's keep hackers and spammers away from the internet and instead use it for connecting doctors with patients and children with their parents. Let's get rid of nuclear and biological weapons and use biotechnology and nuclear energy to help save lives and provide energy for sustaining a better life. Technology is neither good nor evil, it just is. We must cleanse ourselves of the evil and enhance the good and then technology shall be our best friend. (with all due respect to dogs)
Be wary and cautious that technology be recognized beyond its true impact. Yes it does expedite action, whether it be transportation, communication or health care. But it cannot singularly alter the path of the mankind. Regardless of the technology afforded us, the essence of mankind can only be changed through our own hearts and minds.
Ian, Oshawa, Canada
Yes, of course the new technology has great impact on the lives of mankind every one wants first hand information, which the new technology is providing. We are sitting in our homes but getting first hand information of what 's happening in Baghdad, Palestine or elsewhere in the world the world has become a global village in reality due to technological development.
Qismat Ullah Khan, Pakistan
It makes a difference but whether the difference is an improvement is a moot point. Are we getting an improved quality of life? I doubt it very much. Most mobile phone conversations I overhear are inconsequential rubbish. We have the most fantastic, high quality television technology ever but what about the programmes. We have wonderful computer games but are children using the use of their legs?
Computers can process massive volumes of data very quickly and I am sure this is a boon to engineers and scientists, and of course there are excellent advances in medicine and scanners but I suspect that for most ordinary folk technology will probably be used against us to intrude on our lives and personal freedom. So difference or change is not good of itself. It really does depend on what it is used for.
Keith, Rayleigh, England
Technology has made information accessible to everyone irrespective of his location. In fact because of the internet I now have the whole world before me. I do not need to ask people for information be it academic or whatever I just press a button and I have the information.
Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, Manchester, UK
This morning I sat here in Qatar and checked the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the US Navy in Hawaii and saw that a tropical storm in the Philippines was going further south than previously forecast. I sent a text message to my wife at home here and she phoned her father's mobile phone in very rural Mindanao. He is a commercial fisherman and decided that he would stay at home tonight rather than take the boat out; even though the weather was fine when she called him. Now there is a difference.
David, Doha Qatar
Every new technology makes some difference in life. It makes life more comfortable. BUT, being comfortable and being happy are two different things. I have seen people who have more happiness but less comfort and I have also seen people with all the luxuries technology can offer but they have no happiness. Therefore making a 'less comfortable' life 'more comfortable' is not a big deal!
Agha Ata, Houston, USA
It is for the better. I am from Malaysia and since the Internet I get more enjoyment from my hobby of astronomy then before. Reason I get to know of the latest news, for example comets, and their positions. This was not possible before the 90s. Another more important example is it reduces the brain drain from the less developed countries. Now you do not have to leave your country to find interesting and challenging jobs - the jobs come to you - good example is India.
B.Selvadurai, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Technology is improving so fast it is close to impossible to assess its current impact. Compare that with, say, the printing press that had many centuries to prove its worth and effects. I well remember how, when computers arrived in the 1960s, everybody was suddenly going become a computer programmer. Then overnight computers themselves took to writing their own programmes.
Dave Smith, Wellington NZ
Impact of technological advancement in the developing countries will exacerbate the problems of unemployment, redundancy and even poverty, because many hands are not employed and more hands will be substituted by machines-result of technological advancement. As a result, technological advancement becomes rather a quagmire to the developing countries, for the purchasing power of the average will diminish.
Lawan Adamu, Kano/Nigeria
Well, it's pretty clear that computers have influenced human life. It's called the Information Age.
The better something works, the more we take it for granted. There are no boundaries of technology, we will only start noticing the real change when jobs will be lost to robots!
M Siddiqui, Surrey, UK
Technology is Facilitation, which has brought the world into the Net, to which the new School of thought give the name Global Village. It is the New Technology, which has given an end to distances and gape of communication. We, everybody use in daily routine without having any fear that whether this device will really work for or not and this magic is called now New Technology. This change will bring in future, which has already been projected by scholar's that in near future there will be no boundaries between the countries, but the fight will be only for economic benefit's and this is all because of this new Technology.
Fazal Naeem, Timergara - Pakistan
Its destroying jobs in the UK for starters. More jobs are being shipped overseas because of the advances made
To me Internet is a library, where pool of information is remotely available. Without information, I would not have knowledge, and I believe it has been the knowledge that has lead my career so far.
Neil Patel, London, UK
The Internet links people via web servers. People across the world communicating between themselves without knowing or having met them. The important aspect of the Internet is that it should not be policed. Control should belong to the individual not the UN. The records that people leave on every server visited and their own computer provides evidence upon which law breakers can be subjected to the law. The law should be held on a UN web site so all users can determine how to stay within the UN determined law. Let the UN and governments take appropriate action, but they should not people creating a peaceful global village.
David R. Williams, UK
Like all things in life, there are pro's and con's. People should never loose sight of the past as we step forward. Remember the days without such convenience in case of a day we might not have it, like during the great NorthEast blackout.
Calvin, NY, USA
With my little experience as a 15 yr old child, I believe technology has had its best and in a short while we may see its disadvantages in terms of global warming and air pollution, but in the mean while we should settle down and find a way to resolve such crisis. As it may characterise the deformation of the world.
Michael Joseph, USA
The mobile phone is a great enabler of freedom of communication. The internet is a great enabler of freedom of communication. Given the massive growth of both, human beings clearly have a huge need to communicate with each other. We communicate personal things, political things, desires, wishes, plots and downfalls. That apparent freedom to communicate is also the enabler to have captured and analysed all our communications by those that rule us. Add to that the new technologies of media, of advertising tailor-made to our preferences, and all in all someone knows an awful lot about us...or those of us who have been lured by this great technology. Is this really freedom? Can we really foresee where this might lead? No. But we should not ignore it, and we must constantly question it, and be strong enough to say ' no' and switch it off.
Instant access to the world as it happens. And the possibility to have an interaction with these happenings. A wonderful instrument to influence the world and be influenced by the world. How can I not like it? Des Currie
Des Currie, Umdloti, South Africa
Yes, Yes, Yes - I met my husband online, we got married last year. He is blind and runs a website for blind people and those who want to help them. More and more people with sight problems are turning to the internet and email to live fuller, more rewarding lives, to work and to make friends. Once the UK Disabled Accessibility laws are fully implemented in '04 even more websites will be accessible to Audio Screen Readers and computer Braille displays. Great stuff!!
Catherine Davies, Bristol, England
Technology has made the fat even fatter, the thin even thinner. It has also made the poor even poorer and the rich even richer. Finally, technology is abused by the few on this planet and cannot be used by the many.
Technology is wonderful. I yell at my computer everyday because it won't do what I want. My credit card # has been stolen and used on the internet. Each day my automobile thinks I am stealing it, so I have to re-introduce myself to it or it won't start. We can kill millions of people from 1000 miles away. Our children are fat and lazy and incapable of adding but can write a computer virus in a few hours. I get many offers to help my "male difficulties", sorry, I feel just fine. My favourite though, I can now order a wife on the internet. I just answer a few questions and I have, dozens of choice on my screen. I've never check on the shipping and handling charges, but I'm sure a payment plan could be worked out. Sure glad my father didn't have this option, you see, he is very fond of red heads but my mother is a brunette.
Matt, Traverse City, USA
On balance things are better because of technology. But there are evil people out there who are more interested in creating smart bombs and full spectrum surveillance than in allowing you to chat with your loved ones in Australia or order CDs from Baton Rouge. We're at a crossroads and we can decide that technology is going to create heaven on earth for everyone or allow the neo-cons to create hell on earth for all but a few.
Charles Moore, Edinburgh, Scotland
I am an Engineer and had always been interested in Science and Technology and have earned my living in it. I am however disenchanted with the modern mania for PCs, Internet, mobiles and computer games etc. I suppose I was brought up in a far more tranquil era where an individual Engineer's efforts were far more respected. Today Technology is available to the general public at large who neither respect it nor understand but use it for fun as a leisure industry. They are generally clueless as to its origins and design evolution but nevertheless plough on using it as though they had just invented it!
R Steward, UK
Technology has been great for me, I work in IT. However, outside my job, I think it is being relied on too much. Technology for technologies sake is a bad thing. Why do we need computers in our kitchens? or our walls? "Computer errors" are blamed for companies' problems, with no hint of apologies to the customers. 1st line support use computers and any decision making power is removed from them. Credit scoring overrides the good sense of bank managers. The march of technology is useful but should be allowed unhindered
Vish, London, UK
Of course, the new technology like the old is making a huge impact in the developing world, but the fruits of development in technology as it has always been, only to cater to the needs of a minority rich. The majority still struggle to acquire the basic needs for survival! Imagine the cost of having to use telephone and internet on a regular basis!
Srinivasan Toft, Humleb?k, Denmark
Technology has surely changed our lives. However, it is not known if it is for better or worse. On one hand, the world is getting smaller allowing for greater interaction between people. On the other hand, the divide between the haves and the have nots is also steadily increasing and the world seems to be moving towards a dangerous showdown.
Karthik Vaidhinathan, Chennai, India
One piece of technology to have shrunk the world has to the telephone. The only problem I have is the way that call centres use it to make you go through menu after button activated menu. The concept of the internet is great, it's a pity it's been corrupted by unethical sites.
If you live in London and are a management consultant it clearly has a very large impact on your life. If you are a small farmer in the northern provinces of China, perhaps not as much.
Technology is a very crude name for the power of ideas (even the wheel on a cart is a technology). So in short it does make a difference. The real questions however should be, to who, and in what direction?
My ten year-old daughter recently complained about the time it was taking to download a file, even though I have broadband. At what pace will her own children expect things to happen?
Technology is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it provides many freedoms and makes information easier to get at. On the other hand it leads to much greater job insecurity, as we have to keep up with the bleeding edge of technology to compete on the world market.
Jonathan Kelk, Dalry, Scotland
Of course technology is having an impact! However, the benefit to various societies will vary vastly depending in part on the societies willingness to make sacrifices (such as personal freedoms) to achieve the gains.
Charles Chose, Denver CO USA
Whether new technology can make a difference will depend on assessments made by governments at country-level and, if positive, will depend on their promotional policies and actions. As the impacts are generally perceived overwhelmingly in a positive light, countries which need support will benefit from special UN assistance to enhance the technology in the form of pilot projects.
I trade stocks on internet, I bank on internet, I buy airline tickets on internet, I shop on internet, I pay my bills on internet. And my job would not exist without internet. Internet is my life.
E, New York
I have no interest in mobile telephones and get along very well without them. In a large city like, Paris, they're unnecessary. On the other hand, I adore internet as you can communicate with people all over the world, and learn far more, and much quicker than by any other method. The possibilities of Internet are limitless and it is the greatest technology of our day.
Nick Rhodes, Paris, France
Up until the introduction of the internet, business success was urban based but, now I can sit here on a remote farm in the west of Ireland and buy/sell/research anything worldwide.
Technology has changed our way of living. In my opinion this is for the worst. Before technology everything was so peaceful and calm. Now whenever you walk down the streets you hear phones ringing and cars with their awful engines screeching. Although the internet is occasionally useful for finding out the latest news and so on, it is pathetic. Think of all the waste of dreadful and horrific web sites that young children are finding on the web. Technology is evil.
Frederick Grandsommer, Largs, Scotland
I am currently producing a postgraduate study, some 20 years after my degree. I have been amazed by the information I have been able to access online. Academics can be very generous! It has become very clear to me that this global sharing of information via the internet can only benefit mankind. Unfortunately the web is marred by the ugly face of advertising and porn, but you can't have everything.
Pat H, London, UK
I visited an area of rural China a few years ago and was astonished to see more mobile phones in use than in the west. This then new technology had let them quickly bypass the problem of a lack of telephone land lines. When people can keep in close touch to friends and family living in different parts of the country and abroad, that has to increase the amount of worldly information they possess. But it doesn't automatically mean that they will benefit from that knowledge. In the last decade, the ratio of incomes of MD's versus worker bees in the US has gone from tenfold to one hundredfold. Thanks to technology, everybody knows that - but they still can't do anything about it. Knowledge isn't always power.
I feel that we should be grateful to technology, it has made life ten times more practical. How would we ever be able to communicate the way we do, without the fantastic technology? It has provided many jobs to society and has allowed us communicate in a way never seen before. However, technology can also be put to bad use and therefore, we should be ever vigilant that, that does not happen.
I think the Internet is great, because some things are done faster online than through the phone, like booking airline flights and buying concert tickets. Of course, like all technology, there are some downsides. If computer technology does spread around the world, I hope no further problems are created with regards to easy access to pornography, downloading pirated music and software, and spreading computer viruses. We have enough of these problems at home already.
Anthony, Chicago, IL, USA
How wonderful that Technology has allowed me to be tracked down by people from high school that I didn't care about so that I can not care about them as an adult. I also think that it's wonderful to think that I can prevent myself from going bankrupt AND get cheap flights to Karachi just by clicking on the link that was in my e-mail this morning. So if I wish to meet the idiots I was at school with in Karachi next Wednesday and I don't wish to be bankrupt, Technology is a WONDERFUL thing...
Ian, Brit in USA
Yes, no doubt that new technology has changed the life and whole of the world has become a small village. There are a lot of sources to communicate. Just 10 years before, no one can expect that via email a message can send in a second and now this happened because of new technology. If we have no computer and internet then we can send SMS and even Email via a mobile phone. But there is a worst side too. Computers and mobile phones are not available for everyone because of high costs and critical systems.
Deepak Kumar Vidhyarthi, Muzaffar Nagar, India
The computers, especially the Internet has definitely changed my life. These technologies have made life and obtaining information easy. My professors say that now the students can find information about anything relatively easily than when they went to school. Because in those days they had to read books, newspapers, and do research. I believe information technologies should be available to all for just being human and like education it is one of our basic rights.
There are advantages and disadvantages to everything and yes there are disadvantages when it comes to the information technologies. One of which is that there is so much information our there that one feels overwhelmed, thus one is forced to choose between what to read and what not to. Overall I think it has benefited humans.
Saad Butt, NY, US
New technology has been a great advantage to me, since I was able to live abroad while holding on to my original job - because I could do it tele-working over the internet. That advantage could turn out to be a disadvantage in case my boss gets the hint and decides he might as well get someone in (say) India to do my job over the internet at a fraction of the cost. But I don't begrudge Indians having this sort of opportunity - it's fantastic for the world that the distance to work can be negligible.
Mick, The Netherlands
Of course new technology is making a difference. I think a lot of western countries are denying it to the poorer nations because they will then be able to offer cheaper services, just look at the exodus of call centre jobs to India, imagine that multiplied.
Duncan, Salisbury, UK
Computers are killing us off. Hundreds of millions of people are spending most of their waking hours sitting in front of their PCs, their television sets, and in their cars getting fatter and fatter and it's no joke. Obesity and diseases of the obese such as diabetes and high blood pressure are becoming epidemic all over the world, especially in the developed nations.
Mobile phones have changed my life for the worse. I can't sleep now unless I make sure that my phone is turned off, for fear of being woken up in the night. I've had to quit my job as a 24-hour support analyst because of this. On the positive side, the internet is a wonderful invention, made my new job much easier because of huge reference material out there. Its probably had a negative effect on my social life, I now play on-line games in the evening instead of going to the pub, but to be honest I never really enjoyed going to the pub anyway.
Women in developing countries hardly have access to their basic human rights, medical care, contraceptives. How on earth will they have access to the internet???
That the UN summit on technology couldn't agree on how to develop, fund and deliver Internet to the Third World, shouldn't come as a surprise. Neither should it be seen as a setback or failure. This is a huge challenge that requires time and many more conferences to resolve the outstanding issues, if previous, similar UN-global technological trends serve as parameters.
But, rather than hosting another general summit soon, the UN administration
should establish an ad hoc panel consisting of experts and representatives
from rich and poor nations, to study the problems and develop a constructive agenda, creative a blue print for achieving the global-internet and Information technology goals. Then, another full-fledged UN
conference should be held to study, debate and adopt the panel's acceptable agenda,
which can be taken
over by UNESCO or some other UN agency.
Igonikon Jack, USA
There is no point denying that technology has made my life better. I can't imagine giving up the convenience of mobile phones. I believe all the arguments against the internet is fatalistic in nature. If the internet brings about so many undesirable outcomes, those are the price we have to pay, and we cannot ignore benefits the internet has to offer. Nothing comes without a price; it is just a matter of deciding whether the price is worth paying. As for the internet, I am sure it is.
If people in developing countries don't have internet access how will they take advantage of the offers of cheap Viagra, genital enhancement and breast enlargement products, and easy ways to make lots of money quickly? I'd hate to think of people missing out on the golden opportunities that appear in my email inbox...
John B, UK