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How Technology Has Changed the World

The Prime Minister on YouTube; video streaming on smartphones goes global; and ideas spread in minutes: the world is changing rapidly and the technology we all know and love is behind it.

As the momentous events across the Middle East have shown in recent weeks, no one can deny that the internet is not a major player when it comes to generating change in the world. No longer can regimes turn off the media to the rest of the world – ideas spread online in minutes, rather than days or even months as in decades gone by.

The power of the internet can be seen by the fact that Prime Minister David Cameron has answered questions directly from citizens through YouTube’s World View program.

Over the past week just under 10,000 questions were submitted to Mr Cameron, and he has answered those questions during his tour of the Middle East. It is the first time a sitting Prime Minister has responded directly to an ongoing and developing world crisis via YouTube. The entire interview will be broadcast on the website on Saturday.

In the Middle East, YouTube is in the top 5 search terms on Google and internet users in the Middle East and Africa are 14% more likely than the global average to watch online video.

The availability of laptops, low cost PCs and tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad have made internet access far easier for millions of people around the world, which is why the internet as a medium is growing in influence.

But all those cool gizmos and gadgets we all know and love to read about on websites such as this have also played their part in the ‘social revolution’.

For example, did you know that people in the Middle East are 26% more likely than the global average to watch online video on their mobile phones? The spread of smartphones from leading brands all over the world have all played a part, then. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook  – and their mobile apps – mean that ideas and new information are passed around in seconds and organisation is far easier than in the pre-internet days.

Technology in general has laid the platform for change. So the next time your friends, family or partner have a go at you for being a tech-geek, obsessed with new technology, you can say to them that you are in fact a revolutionary, doing your bit – through a love of technology – to make the world a better place.

What do you think the future holds for technology and the social changes it could bring about around the world? We’d love to hear your thoughts so add your comments below.