January 6th is National Technology Day and it’s clear the relationship between technology and society is pretty complex.
We really can’t put a precise value on it, however, we can agree that it has changed everything.
But how did we get here? Socially savvy and running a business from a phone?
In this article, we’ll briefly go over where technology stemmed from and then dig in where it’s potentially going from here.
The word technology is a combination of the Greek technē, “art, craft,” with logos, “word, speech,” which at one time meant a discourse on the arts, both fine and applied. By mid-century technology was defined by such phrases as “the means or activity by which man seeks to change or manipulate his environment.”
The wildest thing about us as humans is our capability to manipulate the world around us unlike others. This is really where I believe technology originated. What I mean is, at some point there was a social need for a particular technology in order for it to be developed and humans made it happen. But in order for it to live on, to provide the right services for the future, it was essential that enough people be conscious of the said technology.
If you look around where you are now, you can see that technology has taken a part in your life in various ways. Pick one and just think, it started with a problem in need of a solution that someone then conceptualized and executed. If I’m not mistaken, that’s something that is happening all the time within the small business realm.
For the sake of this blog and how broad “technology” can be, we won’t disregard those other tools that have evolved over time but for now focus on the ones that have made our lives easier.
Even though as humans we have been using a form of technology for centuries dating back to the Neanderthals and their tool making, we’ll start as far back as to what I believe is the most used, expansive and ever-changing tool today, the internet.
With the work of a dozen pioneering scientists, programmers, and engineers, not just a single person, this entire group developed new technologies that merged into the “information superhighway” that we know today.
Undeniably changing the U.S. in the 1990s, not everyone had access to the internet. The importance of it, however, was recognized and soon it evolved to a faster connection to the entire World Wide Web.
According to Pew Research Center, in the early 2000s, about half of all adults were already online. Today, 93% of American adults use the internet.
That means the internet didn’t only happen and affect those in America, but if you look back you can see at a global level a very similar growth. At that time, 7% of the population had access to online. Today, over half the population has access to the internet.
With 93% of American adults online and over half the global population surfing the web, it’s safe to say that having some sort of presence here is extremely important.
A lot has changed over the last two decades but it brought about a lot of improvements for entrepreneurs.
The two go hand-in-hand, technology and entrepreneurship, because it’s never been easier to find educational resources , like “How to Find the Right Website for Your Stage of Business” that empower you to take the essential steps for your business. This article wouldn’t have reached you had we not had this opportunity to connect because technology has come this far.
I think that’s why it’s so hard for us to step away from our work. Not too long ago you had to worry about missing a call when you stepped out or wonder how people would know you’re on vacation.
If we really stop to think about how these changes have impacted the way the world operates, it can get a little trippy.
We have instant access to any information at any time. As I see it this can be both dangerous and beneficial because at first we are free from the desk but at the same time tied to our phones.
Today, most meetings are held on Zoom Calls and the biggest concern is if your audio works and that the lighting is just right. We hardly need to meet face-to-face anymore and I’m beginning to think this is what our future holds.
Even Instagram, one of the most used social media platforms, has declared that video is the priority in 2022, along with messenger, and “creators.” There’s no escaping technology as entrepreneurs and keeping up with the latest trends is part of the challenge.
With video being a main focus, where do you think technology is going? You’re aware of Metaverse, right? Do you think we’re heading to a Disney Pixar Wall-e, like-world?
By 2024, the virtual reality market is expected to reach close to $300 billion by 2024 according to Statistica.
Depending on your industry, VR could be used in conjunction with other marketing tools. If you’re in retail, you could break down the barriers of physical and commerce online shopping. Same for gaming, training, and even tourism.
Do you think we have lost touch with the purpose of technology?
For me personally, it scares me how much we rely on technology in hopes for deeper connection with others. Without a doubt, it is necessary in order to build trust with your clients. Maybe I’m just old school into thinking that a handwritten letter has the same impact as it did 20 odd years ago.
I think the important thing to take from of it all this is to take the old with the new. Being willing to adapt to the new practices is what growth is all about but if you believe another way will give that personal touch, by all means, keep it.