Technology is the application of conceptual knowledge to achieve practical goals, such as producing tools, engines, products, and hardware. The word is often used to refer to tangible objects such as utensils or machines but can also be applied to intangible things like software and the Internet. It may also refer to methods of accomplishing tasks such as a particular type of farming or fishing technique.

Technology can be a powerful resource for businesses as it helps them step up to the competition and improve their processes. It has many benefits including enhancing productivity, cutting costs, and increasing sales. However, there are some drawbacks to using technology which include a lack of data security and exposure to cyber attacks.

It is difficult to define technology because it tends to mean different things in different contexts. In general, it encompasses anything that humans create or manipulate to help them live and work more efficiently. It can be used to produce and store information, communicate with people, and even create art. Some examples of technology include farming and mining techniques, computer software, and transportation devices.

As a tool that can be used in different ways by different people, technology can be an important part of a person’s identity. This is especially true for those who use technological innovations that change the world around them. For example, the invention of the telephone allows people to stay in touch with one another despite geographic distances. In addition, the Internet and social media sites allow people to interact with others online.

Technological progress is an ongoing process, but it has not been a linear one. The fact that some societies have stagnated at highly developed stages of technological development and that others have actually regressed shows that technological change is not inevitable and depends on social factors as well as scientific ones.

The definition of technology is also contested by scholars who argue that the concept is rooted in modern notions of progress and human rationality. They point out that the development of technology was largely driven by the need for trade and immigration, which enabled craftsmen to spread their expertise throughout the world and encourage imitation. The rapid advancements in the twentieth century were partly caused by the development of larger and more complex industrial and manufacturing technologies, which were designed to achieve economic growth at a faster pace than before.

Moreover, the very nature of technology implies that it prioritizes certain routes to some ends while neglecting other pathways. When a technology becomes widely adopted, it typically scales up the behavior that it makes easier to engage in. For instance, when televisions became popular in America, they accelerated the occurrence of zoning out in front of screens and becoming hypnotized by visual stimulation. Similarly, digital media has made it easy for people to doctor photographs and audios. As such, it is increasingly difficult to enforce copyright laws and intellectual property rights.