What Is Technology?


Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical aims. It includes all technologies ranging from the simple hand tool to advanced machinery for agriculture, oil exploration, and power generation. Technology also refers to the design of machines, equipment, and buildings. It encompasses both soft technologies (such as economic, management and administration, sociology) and hard technologies (such as physics and chemistry).

The word technology was coined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1900s to describe the broad concept of Technik, which was translated into English as industrial arts. It spread as a common term and was used in the title of several important texts, including Walter Sombart’s 1911 book ‘Technik und Kultur’.

Today’s definition of technology tends to be much narrower than that of the past and often refers to a specific type of hardware, like mobile phones or computers. However, it can also include software applications and even audio and visual technology.

Technology allows people to communicate with one another across the globe in a matter of seconds. This enables them to share ideas, opinions and information in ways that were not possible before the invention of the Internet.

Despite the benefits of technology, it can also be harmful to society. Some technologies have a large impact on the environment and others can cause disease. It is essential that all businesses and individuals consider the possible effects of their products before they launch them.

Most technological innovations spread on a free-market basis and disappear on the same basis, but occasionally they become a matter of public debate and possibly formal regulation. Such was the case with contour plowing, vaccination, genetic engineering, and nuclear power plants.