Did you ever wonder where we would be without technology? Imagine how your life would be if we didn’t have networked computers, smart phones, electricity, and books (eBooks and paper-based). It is almost impossible to think of our lives without it. What exactly is technology anyhow? How has it changed our world? Did it change our world for the better or worse?
According to Wikipedia, technology is “the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures.” That means that anytime you read a magazine, turn on the lights, use your computer, and the Internet, you are using technology. Therefore, if you can read this, thank technology. Language, especially written language, has probably had the most profound effect. Think of all that gets communicated among us every day. Without words or important inventions like the printing press, something like the World Wide Web would probably not exist. Add mathematics, metallurgy, and electricity to the list of innovations that have permanently changed our lives, too. Just imagine a world without sky scrapers, automobiles, or television. All of it is possible thanks to technology.
Some think technology has made our lives considerably better. Just think of all you can learn through books and Web pages. Imagine the lives that can be saved with modern medical knowledge and equipment. Consider that world’s farms are now more productive and can feed our growing population. These are just some the wonders technology has brought.
For some, the complexities of modern life are not worth the convenience. With all of our devices modern wonders, we often find ourselves working longer hours than we might with lower levels of technology. If you have ever spent a vacation free of cell phones, computers, and television, you know that the simple life can be much more relaxing. However, our society has become too dependent on technology to be able to give it up any time soon. Even cultures that do not embrace modern technology must coexist with those that do and depend on them for trade as well.
The next time you complain about your meal taking several minutes to cook in the microwave, or that the other side of town is too far to go to see a movie, remember that without technology to make these things possible, we might have even more to complain about.