Defining Technology


Technology is about using knowledge creatively to organize tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals. Technology involves all the tools we use to make things work – from stone-age hand tools to today’s advanced gadgets. It also includes the systems that connect us to each other and the world around us like the internet, phones, and TV.

Technology helps us solve problems, improve the environment and increase productivity. It’s important to remember that technology is not neutral, it can have both positive and negative effects. For example, while some technologies can help make our lives easier, other can cause problems like cyber attacks and environmental damage.

Defining technology is challenging because it must encompass both instrumentality and free will. A technology must prioritize certain paths and eliminate others. For instance, when digital cameras became widespread, they deprioritized the pathway of film and darkrooms and the behavior of inefficient but gratifyingly retouching photos for hours.

What’s more, the nature of a technology changes with its success. As a result, it’s often difficult to distinguish between different types of technology. However, if we break down technology into categories based on how they’re used, it becomes easier to understand their impact on society and our day-to-day lives. The most common categories include: