Americans have a love-hate relationship with technology, a new study published by the Pew Research Center suggests. While Americans love the idea of time travel, they still feel a sense of fear when companies like Google, Facebook and others announce their latest tech innovation to the public.
The study comes out amid a spate of innovative announcements, including a one-day sale of Google Glass wearable tech to the general American population on April 15. It has done little to stave off controversy over technology's intrusion into public spaces through surveillance and drones and other fears of personal data being compromised.
The Pew Research Center study showed that the more science fiction-like the idea is, such as time travel, the more Americans are likely to view it as positive. If the product or new tech is seen as threatening personal privacy and space, fear rises and animosity grows.
"Overall, most Americans anticipate that the technological developments of the coming half-century will have a net positive impact on society," the report says. "Some 59% are optimistic that coming technological and scientific changes will make life in the future better, while 30% think these changes will lead to a future in which people are worse off than they are today."
Among those ideas that Americans believe would lead to a negative impact on society, topping the list was allowing parents to manipulate the DNA of future children through technological advances. Likewise, they also are somewhat repulsed by the idea of eating meat grown in a lab.
For science fiction gurus out there, it appears Americans have largely bought into the futuristic impressions seen on the big screen, with many Americans hopeful of a future full of flying cars, unending longevity and potential time travel. It shows how vital the impressions of Americans are when faced with popular ideas that are portrayed in science fiction novels and films.
Despite the somewhat pessimistic perception some Americans have of technology, the Pew Center's research shows that the current state of the tech world is a positive endeavor for many.
"At the same time, many Americans seem to feel happy with the technological inventions available to them in the here and now," stated in the report.