Guess what? Most Americans still love the tech giants.
Poll a random sample of tech writers to determine their feelings about the corporate giants they cover, and you'd probably get hugely mixed results: On the one hand, Google search! Facebook connections! the iPhone! ... but on the other, data-tracking, Foxconn, frictionless sharing. For all the obvious value that Google and Facebook and Apple provide, the writers might say -- for all the services they offer that make them corporate giants in the first place -- they also, as companies and as social institutions, deserve our wariness. Their value is a function of what they take from us as much as of what they give.
The tech writers, however, would be in the minority in that ambivalence. Most Americans -- the vast, vast majority of Americans -- love Apple, Facebook, and Google, per this ABC/Washington Post poll.
The stats are especially striking when you consider that the poll was conducted between March 28 and April 1 -- after, and during, a time of heightened awareness of the privacy compromises we make when we use the companies' services. So either the awareness isn't, actually, as widespread as as it seems ... or people have simply decided that the many benefits of digital connection outweigh the drawbacks. The services in question, after all, aren't just services; they are, at this point, everyday and intimate components of people's lives. They are, increasingly, implicit. "We have always wanted Google to be a company that is deserving of great love," Larry Page noted in last week's state-of-the-company update. "But we recognize this is an ambitious goal because most large companies are not well-loved, or even seemingly set up with that in mind."
True. But it could be that Google has stumbled into something that, for a company of its ambition, may prove even more powerful than love: unconditional acceptance.
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