Modern technology has paved the way for multi-functional devices like the smartwatch and the smartphone. Computers are increasingly faster, more portable, and higher-powered than ever before. With all of these revolutions, technology has also made our lives easier, faster, better, and more fun.
The cyclical nature of society and technologies is one where each factor greatly affects the other, starting with human societies and resulting in the development of different technologies to meet the needs of the society. Those technologies change the way societies behave and operate – which also affects and evolves their economies, producing a potential greater need for more technology, resulting in a cycle. This co-dependent relationship of co-influence and co-production has been the case from the beginning of history, resulting in two major forms of this synergistic relationship co-evolving, depending on the type of society in question:
- Agricultural Cycles: Agricultural societies were based on the cycle of the seasons, and thus would have an agricultural, cyclical concept of social evolution based on agricultural technologies. Since the technologies of a society also help to determine the economy of a society, agricultural societies, technologies and their economy were all intertwined.
- Progressive: While also cyclical, the explosion of technology before and after the industrial revolution resulted in societies moving forward in social progress (via technology) in a way that was not necessarily tied to agriculture, which resulted in more diverse economies and the development of new societal novelties, such as an interconnected world (e.g. the Internet) and globalization.
No single piece of technology – even failed technology – has had zero impact on a human society. Since “necessity is the mother of invention,” all invented technology was created to meet the needs of a society and is thus innately tied to the culture and its populace’s behaviors. Once developed, whatever problem is solved by the technology then alters the behaviors and operations of the society, which may result in new problems, different economic structures, or new ways of life, which may then give way to even more technological innovations. On a macro-scale, the society may simply use the technology to survive and thrive, or it may help the society to evolve and attain higher levels of global progress by creating a greater level of societal efficiency. At the same time, on the micro-scale, technological developments may even change human behavior to the point of altering human adaptive mechanisms and thus affecting organismal evolution. These evolutions have reached even to how societal languages (i.e. words associated with developed technologies in a given society) developed within certain civilizations.