What Does Technology Mean To You?

Warning: The following may sound like I am a Preacher giving a sermon.

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”
Stewart Brand, writer

If you know me, or if we have worked together, the following statement should come as no surprise to you:
My name is Jeff, and I’m a technophile.
Yes, that’s right. I LOVE TECHNOLOGY.
And honestly – YOU SHOULD TOO.
Technology – It’s here to help.

Definition of technology
 1a: the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area : medical technology
1b: a capability given by the practical application of knowledge: a car's fuel-saving technology
2: a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge: new technologies for information storage
3: the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor: educational technology
-2020 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

In the most general definition, it is to help make our lives easier, and to help us get regular, daily tasks done faster. Overall, technology is designed to be an aid for us to ease many of our typical day to day tasks.

“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.”
Bill Gates, Microsoft

Likely, even- EVERY MINUTE.
That’s how frequently the average person is exposed to, or uses some type of technology.

If you don’t mind, please do me a quick favor, and think about ‘Technology’.
If I asked you to tell me the first thing that came to mind, I can almost guarantee it would be something related to computers or computing, am I right?
You’re reading this blog post on some type of technology, aren’t you?

Left: Cheese Grater – Right: Computer Monitor

OK, yes. Computers and Electronics ARE technology, so you’d be correct!
But there’s so much more to technology than that. From the picture above, the cheese grater is also considered TECHNOLOGY. It helps make the process of grating, or shredding cheese easier.

Way way WAY back in time, we discovered fire, ignited from a spark. At that time, our semi-developed brains allowed us to figure out, “Hey! We can use this fire to cook meat, and to heat our bodies and homes with!”
That is quite possibly the very first known type of technology that mankind used to make life more convenient. Today, most of us don’t even think of something so basic being considered TECHNOLOGY, but nonetheless, that’s exactly what it is!
Here are a couple of different technologies, and how they’ve made life easier:
  • Fire – With fire, we were able to begin heating ourselves and cooking food.
  • The wheel – The invention of the wheel revolutionized how we got from Point A to Point B; drastically improving transportation and making our mobility easier.
  • Electricity – Electricity is something that we ALL take for granted! It has changed so much of the world, and is intrinsically linked to nearly EVERYTHING else that we do.
These are just a few examples of things that we rely on, EVERYDAY, to make life easier.
These things are TECHNOLOGY.

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”
Christian Lous Lange, Historian

This quote speaks to tech being both a ‘useful servant’ and a ‘dangerous master’. Here’s how I interpret the meaning:
If humans embrace technology, and allow it to be a helpful aid, while RESPECTING it- it’s convenient and useful! But if we are afraid of it, or if we don’t respect it, then we are essentially falling behind, allowing technology to control us, which may lead to unintended results- The abuse and misuse of technology, it being used for bad rather than for good. In other words – a Dangerous Master.
I agree with the quote, 100%
The onus lies with us, to continue to use our common sense, our judgement, our brainpower, to accept and benefit from technology responsibly.
The key here is this:
If you don’t want to embrace tech, you’ll most likely take the hard road through life, (one that’s unpaved, no stoplights or directional signs, etc), AND you’ll be doing it as the minority. It’ll be an unnecessary struggle!
On the other hand, if you wish to make life just a bit easier, and go with the flow, you’ll embrace technology, you’ll keep up with it, you’ll put out the wee bit of effort required in order to learn it- and learn FROM it.
If you have done that- embraced tech, and opened your mind to it

Some people aren’t ‘tech people’, and that’s ok. There are plenty of us out there, and many are willing to share our knowledge, our passion- our LOVE for tech.
If you don’t know how to do something, there’s no shame in getting help. We (should) do it all our lives! The shame comes in if you don’t put forth the effort to use technology to make life easier. If you turn a blind eye to it, because at first, maybe its new, different, confusing, and then just give up.. you’re not trying.
Not everyone has a ‘tech-guru niece’ on speed-dial, or a ‘grandson programmer’ that answers the phone when you need help setting up a new toy. We get it, trust me! But there are so many other resources out there for people that want to learn more about technology- some free, some paid– and many people use them every day.
The tools are available to make life easier; use them!
If you don’t know how, ask for help.

Technocracy is an ideological system of governance in which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with regard to scientific or technical knowledge.
We are living in a TECHNOCRATIC world, and there’s not a big chance of that changing in our lifetime.
If you can accept that technology is here to stay, and use it responsibly, you’ll do great!
Folks, we need all the help we can get today, just to get through life. Fighting something that you don’t understand, or are scared of- well, that’s just not a good idea, and will make it even tougher to get through this challenge called ‘LIFE.’

Simplify your life.
Embrace technology.