Understanding the Social Impact of Technology

Technology is the collective term for any new methods, skills, techniques, or procedures used in the creation of new products or services or in the achievement of previously achieved goals, including scientific research. This branch of science deals mainly with the application of technology to the practical ends of human action. The study of technology has become intimately linked to the study of society and culture through the history of science and technology. Many social science and engineering colleges offer courses in technology, including information technology, engineering technology, and computer science. These fields all pertain, to some extent, to the study of technology and how it affects people’s lives. In some fields of study, like information technology, engineers and computer scientists are required not only to have a broad knowledge of the field, but are also expected to be skilled not only in the use of technology in everyday life but also in its design and implementation.


A number of different areas of expertise are involved in technology, ranging from its manufacture and design through its adoption by society. Engineers are responsible for the creation of new technology and for its commercialization. The role of an engineer in this process is crucial because the success of a product in its commercial realm hinges on how well it is marketed and how well its features meet consumer needs. In Information Technology, experts in computer science and electrical engineering are responsible for the design and development of new technologies. New software and hardware are also created to facilitate the smooth functioning of computers and other electronic devices.

Technologists play a key role in the societal development of technology. They are tasked with coming up with new ideas to solve current technological problems. This work is crucial to the progress of a technologically developed society, given that a major part of the technological progress occurs within the private and public sectors. Technological innovations can have social, economic, and political consequences. Technological innovations can create wealth, power, and social advancement. Technological innovations may also result in significant harm to the environment, to people, or to other individuals.

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