The Importance of Technology in Culture

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Technology is the application of knowledge to the improvement of living conditions and human society. It is often associated with the development of new materials, tools, machines, and devices, such as computers, printers, faxes, telephones, cars, ships, and weapons. It can also include a more generalized application of knowledge, such as the use of scientific principles to develop new technologies and to analyze and solve problems in everyday life, as well as the use of mathematical techniques for data processing and analysis.

As the basis for many of the social problems that humans face, technology is a powerful force in culture. Since the earliest days of human civilization, technological inventions have enhanced cultural life in numerous ways, including through shaping tools; developing a more efficient means of gathering food; reducing the time needed for travel; and providing an effective means of communication. However, not all technological developments enhance culture in positive ways; some help to facilitate political oppression and war by enhancing military capabilities.

Most technological developments require some form of monetary investment to produce and market them, as well as the resources necessary to operate them. These factors are important to consider in evaluating the potential impact of any particular technology, as is the cost of training personnel to operate and repair it. Moreover, as with any innovation, some individuals may question the value or usefulness of a technology. These questions may not be aired publicly, but they may contribute to the level of awareness that influences public decisions regarding technology.