This I Believe: The Power of Technology

Jeffrey - Arcadia, California
Entered on March 25, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: science

Call me a geek, a nerd, whatever. I won’t take it as an offense. In fact, I don’t mind being called a geek because it’s true—I believe in technology.

There’s a lot more to technology than computers, electronics, and the like. It’s much more general; technology is defined concisely as “a way of changing the natural world to meet human needs or solve practical problems.” Without a doubt, technology is an omnipresent force of the world. In fact, it is so universal that we often take it for granted; the pen that I’m writing this essay with, for example, was formed through innovation.

Technology is certainly a central component of my everyday life, so much so that no single event helped “shape my beliefs.” Technically, my entire life should be that event, because of innovation’s profound effect on my life. But for technology, I would have to write out my homework with a quill pen (in fact, I would not be able to write at all—innovation appears again as the driving force behind the discovery of writing); today I can type up my homework and print it out in a matter of minutes—and it’s legible! Technology is involved with everything I do, from reading to amusing myself to getting around. The above definition of technology originated from my science textbook, which was typed up, printed, bound, and mass-produced by the work of technology itself! I can enjoy the luxury of riding in a car or train, rather than walking or sitting in an uncomfortable horse-drawn cart.

I own a tiny gadget called 20Q, or 20 Questions. Its electronic brain knows thousands, possibly millions, of items and their characteristics; it uses this information to (often successfully) determine the object you are thinking of. And it’s smaller than the palm of my hand! This is one of the facets of technology—“possibilities are endless.”

The first tools were probably simply stones, and later on stones lashed to sticks. Look at what we have today—stainless steel, foot-long devices that do their work with amazing efficiency and strength. This is another fascinating aspect of technology: it is never exhausted; instead, it continues to improve on what came before. There is another maxim summarizing this that we can apply in our everyday life: “There’s always room for improvement.” Without technology, I just wouldn’t be able to do as much as I can today.

In conclusion, I have a firm belief in technology and its power due to the vast array of improvements that innovation has made possible. Nobody’s life remains untouched by this force; considering how far we have gotten since the beginning of mankind, not even the earliest humans were devoid of this power. In fact, without technology, I might not be here at all, for technology goes farther back than can ever be imagined, back to the first clothes, the first tool, or the first man-made fire. And without these discoveries, how would humans have survived the multitude of hardships that nature has thrown at us for millennia?