What Is Technology?

Technology is an encompassing term that refers to any entity, both material and immaterial, designed or created in order to solve real-world problems. It’s a broad definition that can encompass everything from a simple tool, like a crowbar or wooden spoon, to a large machine, such as a particle accelerator or space station. Technology can also include processes and systems, such as computer software and business methods.

Technology has always been present in human culture, influencing language, ritual, values, commerce, art, and more. It is a critical component of every culture and reflects the system’s values. It is the link between science and society, and it’s the way we advance as a civilization.

But it isn’t just the big technologies that have side effects. Even the small, everyday ones have a significant impact. For example, a refrigerator that isn’t properly maintained may contribute to greenhouse gas build-up in the atmosphere.

Individual inventiveness is essential for technological innovation, but social and economic forces strongly influence what technologies will be undertaken, paid attention to, invested in, and used. These factors include consumer acceptance, patent laws, the availability of risk capital, and government budget processes.

For example, if employees need quick access to approved facts about a customer, they can use a centralized data system within an organization rather than having to go through their files or ask another employee. This kind of technology makes things easier for people and opens the door to more efficient work practices.

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