How Technology Shapes Our Lives

Technology is the design and creation of tools that help people gain access to and process information. It includes everything from the most sublime planetary science to the everyday things that make life easier and more enjoyable, like digital printers and ATMs. This article explores technology as a means to an end, and how the ways in which we use technology shape our lives.

Technology involves an ongoing attempt to bring the world closer to the way we wish it to be. The decision to create technology in a particular way is a process of deliberating over what counts as a satisfying or acceptable outcome. Joseph Dunne says that “when one makes technology, it is essentially calculating the efficiency of different possible means towards an already-determined end.”

When a technological tool gains widespread adoption, it tends to prioritize certain routes and ends over others. This happens in the most visible and obvious ways, but it can also happen in subtler or more obfuscated ways. For example, when digital cameras gained popularity and overtook analogue ones, they shifted the pathway to photographs, prioritizing a culture of instant gratification over the slow but enduring path of developing film and editing images in darkrooms.

The development and application of technology has been a crucial force throughout human history, allowing us to take advantage of our natural resources and create a more comfortable existence. Early technological developments, such as the invention of fire and the wheel, increased available food sources, and more recent advancements have lowered travel times and communication barriers to allow humans to interact on a global scale.

Moreover, technology can make work more efficient and enjoyable, enabling people to achieve their goals more quickly and effectively. For instance, the development of computing and communications technologies have streamlined processes by lowering the time needed for data analysis and improving accuracy.

This is especially true in the business world, where IT tools have helped to streamline communication, improve collaboration between team members, and reduce costs through automation. In addition, IT has made it easier for businesses to automate repetitive and redundant tasks, further reducing their overhead.

As a result, technology is essential to many areas of the modern workplace. For example, IT is critical in healthcare for enhancing patient experience and safety, facilitating the management of medical records, and delivering better diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, it is necessary in finance for handling online transactions and preventing fraud. And in the manufacturing industry, IT tools provide a competitive advantage by making it easy to access and analyze information, optimize production processes, and boost productivity. Additionally, IT supports online learning and collaboration, providing students and teachers with access to a wealth of educational resources.