Many people are unaware of the term “technology” and don’t really understand what it is or how it affects our everyday lives. Some people think that just because something is technologically advanced, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is an advanced technology in general. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many times things that would once have been considered technology are now considered common-place items.
One example of technology includes the computers we use every day and the Internet that provide real-time information on the go and allow individuals to connect to the web anywhere in a matter of seconds. Another example of technology is all of the complex and involved programs that are built into our cellular phones and our PDA’s. Nowadays, you can even find software programs that will allow you to surf the web using your cell phone! Now that is one form of technological innovation!
The first step to understanding the concept of technology is to realize that the word itself doesn’t clearly define what it means. Technological innovations may be anything from new forms of communication to technological breakthroughs in basic tools or equipment. Often it is only when the applications or tools are put to practical use that we recognize that they are in fact technological innovations. Take for instance the cell phone. While the simple cell phone may appear to just be a simple telephone, it is in fact a revolutionary invention that has changed our daily lives. And that is just one example of how the word technology has become part of our culture.
Technological improvements in our daily lives are not only found in the technological objects that we use on a day-to-day basis, but they are also found in the way that we live our lives. Take for example medical technology. As we become more health conscious, we tend to use more sophisticated and technologically advanced medical diagnostic devices. This can include things like magnetic resonance imaging to detect abnormalities in the organs and systems of the body. Or even computerized tomography (CT) to detect the different internal structures of the human body.
Another example is how Greek philosophers, immemorial, recognized the value of using tools to make life easier. This is also a key part of the technological process in Greek society, as you would imagine. One thing that these Greek philosophers did not have, however, was the word technology. Thus, they were forced to creatively invent terms to describe the various tools and technological objects that they used.
Thus, it is clear that the definition of technology can change over time and in accordance with changing needs and interests. As such, one could say that the twentieth century saw the birth of new technologies such as computer technology, information technology and the internet. Such technological objects as the telephone and radio were developed by private individuals in the developed world, whereas new technologies such as the GPS and mobile communication are now developed in developing nations.