from the oh,-look-at-that dept
There’s been plenty of talk lately about the “Techlash” which has become a popular term among the media and politicians. However, what if the general public feels quite differently? Vox, which is not exactly known for carrying water for the tech industry, has released a new poll that shows that the public is overwhelmingly optimistic about technology, and thinks that technology has been a force for good in the world. This applies across the board for Democrats, Republicans, and independents.
Seventy-one percent of likely voters agreed with the tech-optimist statement: ?Technology is generally a force for good. Large tech companies have provided innovations like vaccines, electric vehicles, bringing down the cost of batteries that store green energy, vegetarian meat options, and other ways that have improved our quality of life.? Only 19 percent agreed with the tech-pessimist statement: ?Technology is generally a force for bad. Large tech companies are bad for workers, inequality, and democracy. The technological innovations they produce are not worth the cost.?
When put into chart form, the results are really, really striking:
Obviously, “technology” covers a lot more than the big internet companies — and the messaging that Vox tested highlights mostly non-internet innovations. But, still. The fact that the “control” group — ones who didn’t even receive the specific messaging — felt even stronger about the good technology does in the world than those who were first primed with statements about other kinds of technology is really something.
There are plenty of examples, certainly, of tech gone awry, but it really seems that the general public recognizes all of the good that innovation and technology have done for the world, and feel optimistic about it. Of course, none of that will stop “the narrative” of the techlash, because it’s just too useful for many pushing it.