How Technological Change impacts Society
Technology is the collective term for the accumulated set of practices, systems, skills, and procedures used in the creation of products or services, including scientific research, in the achievement of specific goals, or in determining the functionality of a system. Technological change is the result of human creativity, often fueled by need, which yields technological artifacts that serve particular purposes. It applies to all areas of human interaction, including education, science, engineering, medicine, industrial, commercial, and other activities. The scope of technology is continually expanding because it has become an ever-more significant force in shaping how we live. Technological change is also inherent in society, with new technologies fostering greater complexity and diversity and creating new societal problems and needs.
Technological change has had profound effects on society in general, both in terms of its impact on technological know-how and how society uses it. Technological innovations have created new kinds of jobs, altered the definition of what it means to be educated, increased social awareness and participation, and even caused new political trends. Technological change is thus far from having fully took over the world.
Technological change occurs when humans create or acquire new knowledge or skills that alter how the society uses the known tools and materials. Technological change can be either the result of long-term technological development or of short-term phenomenon, depending on the scale of change and how the transformation affects society. Larger-scale changes, like the invention of electricity, have had far-reaching effects on society. Even the Internet, for example, has triggered massive social, cultural, and political effects.
Technological change is also a product of human ignorance. As society becomes more complex and technological advances are made, individuals tend to withhold information from each other and from others who are not members of their own social network. Individuals also tend to build on existing technological systems rather than establishing new ones, resulting in a technological surplus rather than a technological deficit. As a result, when something new is developed, it is not adopted as part of the wider social structure because those who would benefit from it do not know about it.
Technological change can also occur because there is an already existing technological system, which needs to be enhanced. This is usually the case with a complex system of organization, where people involved in different tasks still do not agree on how the system should be organized. One such example of this is health care. In order for doctors to provide better services, it sometimes needs to be adapted to the different ways in which people live, work, and move.
Technological change occurs because people have to find better ways of using existing information technology. They do this by inventing new forms of communication that make use of existing tools and materials. Technological change also occurs because of the need to expand the definition of what ‘knowing’ is and how it relates to society as a whole. It also occurs because new forms of knowledge production emerge and because people find that they need to use technological systems to manage their interactions with the rest of the world.