How technology shapes our society
The world of technology is constantly evolving, shaping and changing our society in profound ways. What may start as a mere trend or movement quickly finds its way to our front doors, becoming an integral part of our daily lives. From the advent of the television and the internet to the ubiquity of smartphones and ride-sharing apps, the impact of technology on our society is undeniable. However, it is important to recognise that these advancements build upon the successes of their predecessors, and the perception of technology has not always been positive throughout history.
As historian Abigail Wills points out in an article for the BBC’s online history magazine, each successive historical age has experienced moral panics and fears about the impact of new technologies on society, particularly on youth behaviour. Similar concerns were raised in the late 19th century when bicycles were gaining popularity. Doctors warned that using this “newfangled contraption” could lead to a condition known as “bicycle face”, which was said to cause weariness and exhaustion owing to overexertion and the upright position on the wheel. However, such fears were often exaggerated and driven by societal biases, particularly against women who were embracing the bicycle as a symbol of independence and freedom.
Indeed, it is not the technology itself that is good or bad, but how it is used by those who wield it. The outcome and perception of technology depends on the perspective of the user, whether their intentions are benevolent or malevolent. Ultimately, it is society and government legislation that determine the boundaries and limitations of technology.
From a business and innovation standpoint, the evolution of technology has been a driving force behind economic growth and development. New technologies have revolutionised industries, creating new opportunities for businesses and disrupting traditional models. Companies such as Google and Uber have become household names, with their products and services assuming integral parts of our daily routines. The concept of “Googling” something or “Ubering” somewhere has become commonplace in our lexicon, reflecting the rapid adoption of these technologies by society.
However, the journey from trend to mainstay is not always smooth. There are often challenges and obstacles to overcome, ranging from regulatory hurdles to societal resistance. Technological advancements are sometimes met with scepticism as people grapple with the changes they bring and the potential impact on various aspects of society, such as privacy, security and employment. For example, concerns about data privacy and security have emerged with the proliferation of the internet and social media, leading to increased scrutiny and regulation.
Moreover, the economic implications of technology adoption are not always evenly distributed. While some businesses and industries thrive, others may struggle to adapt or face obsolescence. The rapid pace of technological change can disrupt established business models and lead to job displacements. It is crucial for businesses, policymakers and society at large to consider the broader social and economic implications of technology adoption and work towards inclusive and equitable outcomes.
Despite the challenges and concerns, the pace of technological advancement shows no signs of slowing. New technologies continue to emerge, promising to further transform our society and economy. From artificial intelligence and blockchain to virtual reality and quantum computing, the possibilities are vast and exciting. As with any technological revolution, there will be early adopters, sceptics and those who resist change. However, history has shown that technology has a way of finding its place in society, ultimately becoming a mainstay that we can no longer imagine living without.
In summary, the evolution of technology from trend to mainstay in society is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. While there may be initial resistance and scepticism, the societal impact of technology is undeniable. From the advent of the television to the proliferation of smartphones and ride-sharing apps, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives.
• Christian Chin-Gurret is a Bermudian writer with a Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Science in Product Design, who offers a unique perspective on shaping the future of business through innovation, disruption and technology. He can be reached athttps://www.linkedin.com/in/christianchingurret/