Technology is a term so commonly used that it is no longer fully understood. Consider the room around you. What technologies do you see? You may have a smart phone, a laptop, a computer or an AC around you. Look more closely, are there any more? You may say the fan or lights in the room or the watch on your hand. What you didn’t realize is that the chair you’re sitting on or the news paper you might have read in before are also technologies.
For us, technology usually means computers, spaceships, nuclear weapons or instant messaging. We fail to realize that technological advancements have been occurring since the time of cave dwellers and such examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Overtime, these technologies have become a part of our daily lives and disappeared into the background. Their ubiquity made them invisible and they became a part of our actions. For example, we don’t say ‘I wrote an essay using my pen and some paper’. We simply say, ‘I wrote an essay’ and others immediately understand that we must have used pen and paper as a means.
Due to this fundamental integration of technology into our lives, it only makes sense to discuss their impacts. Consider the discovery of fire as an example. It allowed early humans to cook food and obtain warmth. Now, we consider it an essential technology that we cannot live without. Even though we are well aware that fire can cause disasters, we never question its existence in our lives. That is because we have learned to control fire as a tool and the benefits of fire overshadow the risk it poses.
Similarly, all technology has its pros and cons. Technology has provided us with the power and efficiency to do tasks that were unthinkable just decades before. Now we can talk to people across the world in under a minute or travel that far in half a day. However, some voice concerns over the diverse social impacts such as alienation of people, overdependence on technology and consumerism. In this report we have discussed ways in which technology has altered our daily lives – both for the good and bad.
But we also need to discuss who is responsible for these diverse effects. Is it the technology itself or people themselves who create and use this technology? We try to address this underlying debate between social and technological determinism. For this, we analyze the impacts of technology such as the internet and social media and picture human society if futuristic technology such as artificial intelligence continues to permeate into our lives.