THE BLOG
11/20/2013 10:08 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

What Technology Isn't

There are tons of books, articles, and blogs which celebrate all of the great things that technology is to society. But our perception of technology is clouded. People think that technology is some sort of answer to a question or a solution to all problems. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, technology in its purest sense is little more than a tool, like a screwdriver or a hammer. More importantly, the effects of technology depend on how tech is applied. Technology is not the Swiss army knife -- technology is the ideation of using a pointy stick as a tool.

Tech companies like Apple and Hewlett-Packard use smart advertising which leverages our perception of technology to make their products seem better than others. Same thing goes for car companies like BMW, vacuum cleaner companies like Dyson, drug brands like Tylenol, and even flea collar companies like Hartz. Everyone "uses" the term technology to appear more advanced, more developed, better performing and faster acting. But they are missing the point.

Technology was, is, and will continue to be the enablement of innovation -- nothing more, nothing less. For the caveman, the spear wasn't technology -- the innovative idea of utilizing a regular sharp stick to kill dinner was technology. Tablet computers are not technology -- the ideation and design of electronic circuitry, advanced software, and intuitive interfaces are technology. Technology is not the medicine that works better and faster -- it is the development of ingredients, and processes that enable those ingredients to be part of the medicine, that are technology.

Technology isn't a "thing." Technology isn't an object you can mount into a sports car, nor is it a component in a smart phone. It's not a touch screen, and it's not a rechargeable battery. Technology is, for all intents and purposes, a method, a mentality, and a mindset. Technology is the effect that human beings have over our environment when we decide to change things, for better or for worse. Sure, the same idea for GPS is also used to guide nuclear missiles. Technology takes no sides, nor does it judge its end use.

Don't think of technology as something that you have to buy or lease, be taught or get a prescription for. Every person has within themselves, the natural ability that is technology.

Move away from the "marketed" definition of what technology is, and find yourself a sharp pointy stick. What you do with it is technology -- and what you end up with, is not...