Technology and Society

At this time of the year, as you attend multiple holiday parties, get-togethers, etc. you hear everyone commenting on how the society is changing because of the technological innovations. There are smart phones making phone conversations obsolete because everyone relies on text messages, there is Facebook, giving new meaning to the word “friends,” then the Instagram and Snapchat to share photos with the world of your meals and family moments (which used to be treasured private news,) out of town guests relying on Uber instead of waiting for Uncle Mike to pick them from the airport. Yes, society is absolutely changing at a rapid pace because of all the technological innovations!

But have you ever considered the fact that technological innovations are influenced by the society? Seems impossible? Let me convince you.

Take a look at your Christmas shopping list – isn’t it full of the latest technical gizmos? You are sending the signal to those manufacturers through your shopping habits that their products are needed and have a great demand. The manufacturer will have more incentive to come up with version 2.0 of that gizmo by the next Christmas. Think of the product design groups or focus groups or the product surveys that companies conduct – the participants are the millennials, Gen Y and a few Gen Z’ers who grew up using the technologies. They are the ones giving their inputs which shape up the new products.

Another way the technologies are being influenced is via companies tracking you by your daily activities, the places you visit, the items you purchase, the places you shop. So, you don’t even have to be a tech wizard or a new gen person to make influence on the technologies. They are watching your daily, unintentional, mundane actions and that data is shaping what new apps to make and what new tracking devices to install on your smart phones.

“Celebrate the season with renewed optimism Because YOU are shaping the new technologies!”

So, on this almost-eve of a new year, don’t feel bad that technology is changing everything. Be happy, and relish the fact that you are going to do your bit of influencing the technological innovations in the new year!

Happy 2019 to you!

Swatee Kulkarni Executive Vice President, GDI Infotech