Technology is the combination of any learned skills, techniques, practices, or processes applied in the achievement of specific goals, including scientific research, military warfare, or the production of different goods or services. In the broadest sense, technology could be seen to include any human accomplishment affecting the process of doing things. This means that there is a tremendous amount of human effort and technology behind even seemingly simple tasks such as driving your car. Although much has been written about how computers and other technologies have affected our lives, very little is written about how they have affected society as a whole.
The scope and history of technology are enormous. Early man discovered fire and developed ways to use it to cook food, but the extent of his achievements is probably unknown. In the last two centuries, with the help of science and other advancements, mankind has become a far more powerful entity. Two of the biggest trends seen in society today are computer technology and information technology. There is great debate about which one is the greater influence on society; however, most people agree that technological developments are far more positive than societal ones.
One of the main arguments put forth by those against the idea that technology affects society is that some things like automobiles cannot exist without computers. This is known as the Great Depression argument; however, if you think about it carefully, this argument actually falls apart. For example, how could automobiles ever have existed without computers? Computers are the things that help us conduct business, keep in touch, check our bank accounts, access the Internet, etc…
There are many things beyond the scope of this article that are considered technological. If you were to take a random sample of what the world around you consists of today, you would find that technological innovations have occurred in almost every area of life. Take for example the things that you use to navigate through the physical world, like your automobile. You would find that there has been an incredible amount of innovation done in terms of the computer hardware and software that you need to operate such a device. Another good example is how you communicate with people; most people now use either cellular or digital technology for things such as cell phone calls.
If you were to take a random sample of what people used to do centuries ago, you would find that they did not have the same type of technology that we have today. The reason being is because the Earth was new and the processing power that was available to them was quite minimal. Technology such as the wheel or the wheelbarrow was not even invented until the early 1900s. Additionally, without the widespread use of the Internet as we have seen it grow into the dominant form of communication, the world would be very different in terms of its culture.
Technology has had a tremendous effect on society, both positively and negatively. People should always consider the good that technological innovation has brought us, as well as the bad that has come from technology. We must consider what we value in technology before we can decide how to best use it. For instance, some people may consider the Internet to be a wonderful thing, but they would also be well aware of the social problems that come along with the Internet.