From the moment you awaken in the morning, you are surrounded by technology. What you do in the first hour of your day may be similar to what someone two centuries ago did, but the items that you use to do it are vastly different. Electric lights, digital alarm clocks, heated hair styling appliances, drip coffee makers, hot water heaters and indoor plumbing, televisions, computers and cell phones have made this time much easier for most people. And yet, much of this technology is designed not to call attention to itself, but to allow us to live our lives efficiently without giving them much of a thought at all.
What is Technology?
Though many think of computers when asked to speak of technology, the definition is much more basic. Technology can be anything that makes the ability for people to do what they do more easily. The assembly line system for manufacturing is an example of technology. So is the invention of written language. However, over the past century, technological advances have often been electronic.
The Electronic Age
Today, the computer age has begun to create a new world of possibilities that seem limited only by an inventor’s imagination. Online companies are discussing delivery by package drones within a few hours of an order. Smart phones and watches can bounce off satellites that we launched into our planetary orbit in order to help someone find their way, or even to video chat with someone a continent away. Computers are being built into everything we own– appliances, cars, even our beds. Components like printed circuit boards like those sold by Streamline Circuits are easy to find in online stores and incorporate into your own inventions.
There is, of course, a drawback to making things too simple. In society, simplicity can cause a lack of ability and resourcefulness. The ability to self-navigate and read maps may be impaired by relying too heavily on directional mapping programs. The ability to do math in your head may not develop if you are always using a calculator. Essentially, when a technology becomes ingrained into society, the knowledge of how to do it “the old fashioned way” may not be learned. This is not a problem except in times where the new technology isn’t readily available.
Technology is an ever-changing process to improve the lives of the people creating it. Though some things may miss the mark, other technological advances can fundamentally and permanently improve our lives. We now live longer and enjoy access to more information than at any other time in history.