Throughout history, humans have strived to improve the quality of their lives. The conversion of natural resources into tools, and the subsequent use of these tools, is what separates humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom (with a few minor exceptions). In fact, one of the easiest ways to trace the history of human development on this planet is to examine the progression of technological innovations (for example, American history is often broken down into eras characterized by the primary mode of transportation: horse, train, car and airplane).
Today, many of us take new technology for granted. It seems like every year there's a new set of gadgets on the market. In the early 20th Century, it was radios and television. In the late 20th century, it was personal computers and cell phones. Today's most advanced technology allows us to communicate with anyone on the planet, at any time. They allow us unfiltered and unlimited access to nearly every byte of information ever accumulated. It's quite incredible. Imagine what tomorrow will bring!
There's no question that the most important technological innovations occurring today are in the realm of computers. The advent of the personal computer, combined with the development of the Internet, has had a tremendously democratizing effect on information. It's now possible for anyone in the world (or at least those with access to a computer with a cable Internet connection) to read about whatever they desire and communicate with friends and family. In regions where the local government suppresses the spread of information, this ability can be vital for survival.
Technology can also be put to use for less benevolent purposes. Let's not forget that the desire for technological innovations has also produced spy cameras, semi-automatic weapons and even nuclear bombs.
Ultimately, technology is whatever we make of it. It's neither inherently good nor bad. What matters is how we use it. Technology shouldn't determine how we live our lives; rather, we should determine how we use technology. Our primary goal should be the same as always: to improve the quality of life for all humans.