In a recent article in the New York Times, titled’Types of Technology’, Stevenage University’s Professor Alan Faber discusses what he terms ‘types of technology’. According to Faber, there are four distinct types that we can think about when we talk about technology. These are ‘technological’, ‘societal’, ‘information technology’ and ‘arts and crafts’. In this article, we will examine what each of these ‘types of technology’ has to offer us as we navigate the world of information and technology. In doing so, we will learn about the differences between them, and how the differences can influence our lives.
In recent years, the term ‘technological’ has been used to describe any technological advances that have increased our efficiency or improved our lifestyle. For example, cars that drive themselves are considered to be technological, as are clothes that are machine-washable. The idea behind the term, however, is that as technology progresses, society and individuals can experience new and improved types of technology that enhance their lives.
The first type of technology, we will look at is ‘social’. ‘Social’ is a catchall category that includes all things that improve the interaction of people within a community. Some examples include education, art, literature, politics, medicine, technology and communications.
Next on the list of ‘types of technology’ are ‘technological’ and ‘artistic’. This list, unlike the previous two, doesn’t necessarily reflect technological progress as it relates to new technologies. Rather, this list illustrates the differences between artistic expressions, and the ways in which technological advancements may impact society. Artistic expressions, like music, literature and film, often depend on creativity, while technological innovations rely on communication and information, among other things.
The final ‘types of technology’ on the list, is ‘technological’ and ‘economic’. In this particular list, technological advances are typically associated with economic growth, and societal advancement. For example, the Industrial Revolution increased the speed and reduced the cost of manufacturing. Economic development often relies on infrastructure, and the improvements made by technological technologies often have an economic impact on society. Other examples of ‘technological’ include computer technology, cellular phones and the internet.
Each of these ‘types of technology’ has a positive or negative impact on society. Although some proponents argue that society cannot survive without all of these ‘types of technology’, most agree that the society in which we live now, depends heavily on these types of technologies. Changing lifestyles, more individualistic lifestyles and greater accessibility to a wider range of goods and services have all changed the way we live. Society has become more individualistic in terms of beliefs, and there has been a push towards technological advancements. Technological change has also impacted us emotionally, socially and intellectually. As society becomes more integrated and complex, we need to consider whether these changes are positive or negative for our society.