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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

John, England

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.

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.

Shantanu, USA/India

Daniel, UK, Leeds

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.

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

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

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