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What is Everyday Technology?

Everyday Technology

From forks to cars to the device you are reading this lesson on, technology is all around us in our modern world. Technology may bring to mind cell phones, computers, and electricity. Technology includes a much wider range of tools, some as simple as the wheel, and have helped humans live since the dawn of our species. Technology we use every day surrounds us and is thoroughly ingrained into the functionality of so many aspects of daily life. Everyday technology includes our devices, pens and pencils, dishwashers, indoor plumbing, toasters, light bulbs, and so much more. This lesson will discuss some everyday technology, include a bit of history about several examples of technological items, and go into depth about how technology has shaped our lives.

What is considered technology? Technology is the application of scientific principles to serve a purpose that helps human life or the industries humans create. Our modern lifestyle could not exist without the development of technology. Everyday technology is technology commonly used in modern human life. Even historically, technology has been used to improve the lives of humans since the very first early hominids evolved on the African continent. It would be a tough task to find a human life that exists without the aid of technology.

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Ancient Historical Applications of Everyday Technology

The scientific principles that are applied to create technology usually stems from a problem that needs solving. These scientific problems are as ingrained in our everyday life as much as technology is. Scientific problems are usually questions that need answering. They can include basic questions like “how do I get breakfast?” or “how do we effectively water our field away from a water source?” to more complex questions like “how do we safely perform brain surgery?”. Our species first started using technology to solve problems during the Stone Age. During this time, humans made tools to solve problems like cutting up hunted animals, making weapons, and fashioning clothing and shelter.


Then around 20,000 years ago, problems only became more intricate as our societies moved from small communities of hunters and gatherers to agricultural societies. Fire became a crucial technology used for making meat more nutritious. As the population boomed due to the abundant availability of farmed food, society became more complex. Boats were crafted to trade goods on waterways, clothing became woven fibers and textiles rather than just animal hides, and clay created all sorts of vessels used for cooking and storing food. In the south of France, the Lascaux caves depict the first documentation of the use of tools, showing people hunting with spears and other weaponry. It is in these historical uses of technology that the first patterns of how humans use tools first appear. From the very beginning of our species, humans have used tools to solve problems and improve life.

The Industrial Revolution

Through the historical use of technology, humans have used what was around them to build tools and to solve problems. As the access to more diverse and advanced materials increases, so too does the diversity and advancedness of the technology humans use. The Industrial Revolution is a period in which the complexity and efficiency of all technologies increased significantly worldwide, in large part because of the British invention and use of the steam engine. Using steam, and consequently burning fossil fuels to produce steam, is an incredibly efficient method of powering machines. Steam not only powered factories that manufactured countless useful objects can but also powered transportation systems like trains and ships to transport those items around the world. As efficiency became the main problem technology sought to solve, manufacturing and transportation technology became ever more advanced. Now we are accustomed to the ability to simply look up an item that we desire, and in most cases have it shipped straight to our door.

The Internet and Electronic Devices

Our modern world is run on electricity. Electricity is a technology that makes almost everything we do possible. After the Industrial Revolution made manufacturing and transporting goods relatively easy, and with large quantities of materials leftover from WW2, technological innovations became centered around the individual. How do we make life easier? Iceboxes became refrigerators, brooms became vacuum cleaners, and televisions were invented for the express purpose of entertainment you don’t need to leave the house to enjoy. As time passed electronic devices became more and more advanced. With the invention of the internet, electronics became more versatile; now your device can not only tell you what time it is but can tell you what time it is in Japan, as well as the top 10 Japanese recipes to try for breakfast. The internet, and the devices we use that connect to the internet, are defining factors of modern life.