Technology and Human History

Both technology and Society influence each other equally.  Throughout history, technology has revolutionized the human Society. It has made the life of people to become fast, informed, and efficient. On the other hand, humans have contributed to shaping technology. This is because technology is developed according to the culture and beliefs of people. Social determinists and technology determinists hold different views on how technology and Society relate to social events.This paper aims to discuss how technology shapes human activities.

Technology determinists argue that technology develops in predictable ways; thus, it shapes events in human life (lule, 35). However, on the other hand, social determinists argue that human activities are affected by people and Society, and this determines how technology is created. I agree with technology determinists that technology develops in predictable ways; thus, it shapes social events.McLuhan gives a brief of how technology has revolutionized the Society (Lule, 35). He points out that the invention of technology led to the design of the printing press. This served to boost mass literacy. Mass literacy contributed to industrialization and the making of a nation-state. Also, during this time there was the invention of the television. Television invention served to raise the level of human understanding and perception.  It changed how people viewed the world. Visual displays of news, films, and music completely refined the conduct and lifestyles of people. For example, technology introduced a habit of watching television.

By using Mcluhan’s example, it is evident that indeed technology has a significant impact on people and history, and it has grown in predictable ways. Human beings anticipate the next type of technology to the endless need for efficiency and the desire to make money. The first invention creates better ideas for thenext design. For example, the invention of Facebook sparked a desire to make other social platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp. People are always on the urge to develop and to improve. Thus, I can say that technology has put humans into a perpetual state of curiosity and working for improvement. It has engulfed the mind of humans. Every action has a reaction. Technology has created a sense of attachment to people. It has become difficult for people to live without technology. Everyone is yearning for better technological gadgets, which in turn shape the life of the users. For example, a shift from listening to music from stereo toiPad introduces new habits of listening to music to the iPod users.

Technological determinism has been associated with different levels of analysis. At the most significant level, it has been linked to changes in social-economic patterns of change (Lule, 37). This includes the shift from feudalism to capitalism andshift in labour force during industrialization in the 20th century.According to Karl Marx, (Lule, 37), technology plus workers form the infrastructure of increased production. This productivity then shapes the culture and politics of a nation. More production means more profits. Plenty of profits changes the lifestyles of people and their preferences.  This results in the creation of classes. This is because those who have more resources cannot squeeze in the same lifestyle with those with fewer resources. The emergence of different classes alters the relationship between people. This is because humans who have more resources have more power. Power makes them have authority over others. Thus, they will do anything to retain that power to maintain dominance. This is in consideration that resources are always scarce; thus, there is a perpetual struggle of theresources. Technology is the tool of scoping resources. This means that the best technology gains a bigger share of the resources. Therefore, there is always technology changeand Society is always adapting to accommodate technological changes. This change keeps eroding the cultural fabric of the Society.

In conclusion, technological determinism points out the idea that technology advances in predictable ways that shape human events and actions. The theory emphasizes that technology does play an important role in people’s lives. It has revolutionized both the economy and the Society. The economy of the modern world is enormous because of technology. Society and social structures have become advanced due to technology.It is determining too much in the contemporary world. This is regarding the specific times in history when particular trends like industrialization and capitalism were established.






Lule, J. (2012). Globalization and media: Global village of Babel. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.


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