Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about being with family and friends ... and commercialization hasn't made it all about buying things.

When I think about all of the technology that I am thankful for, it's so hard to know where to start or stop.

Everywhere we turn is technology that benefits us. Some consider technology to be things that require electricity such as computers, telephones and more.

I take a broader view of technology.

Everything from a pencil and paper to rocket ships to the moon are technology in my eyes. They are things that didn't exist in nature and people have created and serve a purpose for us.

I also categorize my technologies into three categories: health, humanity and work. Often, a specific technology will overlap my categories.

In the health area, I am very thankful for medicines, diagnostic tools (especially non-invasive ones) and technology of all sorts that can help heal us. Medicines include pain relievers, vaccines such as for Polio and other curative products.

Diagnostic tools help figure out what's going on inside of us, whether it's minor or major, whether it's in our blood or our bones and can help guide our physicians to address whatever concerns we have as well as help us live long, healthy lives.

Healing tools are ones that help treat us, whether they be special instruments that are used to splint a broken bone or deal with a successful organ transplant.

For me, technology for humanity starts with pencils, paper and books. This communication technology has helped humanity to send knowledge around the world, including tales of adventure, laughter and sadness.

Beyond that, the ability to make a phone call, send an email or even have a video call allows us to communicate with each other far better than people even 100 years ago could have ever imagined.

Technology for work is just plain amazing. Whether you are in manufacturing, services, sales, retail, farming, transportation or others, every facet of our workplace has been affected by technology. Technology has made every position more efficient and safe.

From providing superior information about what to do, to how to move things more safely and efficiently, to being able to contact people instantaneously, the workplace is a huge beneficiary of technology.

All of the technology in the world doesn't beat being with other people we care for and being thankful for those who love us.

Although a day early, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Mark Mathias is a Westport resident and has worked in information technology for more than 30 years. His "Living With Technology" appears every other Friday. He can be contacted at: livingwithtechnology@mathias.org