Perhaps the most apparent feature of our society is our use of technology. Whether it is cell phones, high def TV, MRI scanners or air bags, technology surrounds us and is embedded into our lives. Everywhere you go you see people using devices — if there's a gizmo then people are using it.
There is, of course, money to be made creating and using technology, and jobs and benefits for many people.
There are busy and industrious people inventing devices, refining them, and bringing them to market. There are legions of truckers and sales people providing them to us, and people helping us figure out how to use our many gadgets and tools.
At the back-end, there is a service and support industry, and at the tail-end there are recyclers, dust bins, and growing piles in the corners of our basements and drawers.
It would be easy to imagine that our technology has a life of its own — being born, growing, fitting in, working with others, having occasional health problems, and finding that people don't call on them as often as they'd like.
Technology is vital to many aspects of every day, and we have threaded it deeply through our lives.
But at its core, our use of technology is about more than money and far more than our own individual use of gadgets.
Technology is about life and community. Our tools are the extra means we use to keep us safe, healthy, and together. Our tools are the means for sharing our lives and reducing the distances and risks. Our tools are how we, as family and friends, get to expand our reach beyond our fingertips and to widen our personal and shared horizons.
The purpose of technology is community.