Is Technology Making Us Less Human?
What constitutes technology?
Defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industries, all machinery and equipment that have been developed from the application of such knowledge is said to be a technological development. While it can be said to be a branch of knowledge that deals with development and application of knowledge specifically, present advancements are blurring the line between technology and various other fields every day. With faster and more efficient tools being introduced to various sectors, we are seeing savings and profits unseen in the history of businesses before.
Technology is not only about innovation, but also about implementation. With the availability of various advancement choices, one must always look at the big picture when it comes to choosing the right path – that way, while there might be a spike in short term investment of capital, the future of the company becomes now.
Simply put, technology is everywhere. In this day and age of information and scientific advancement, the spread of technology is getting quicker by the day. Every application that does not require manual labour is a technological implementation. Putting aside obvious examples such as electrical and electronic devices, did you know that manufacturing factories are a result of technological innovation? It is simply because of efficient production and effective manufacturing that prices of products decrease – and it is technology that promotes efficiency and speed.
Wherever you go, technological advancement follows. It is a global grid – a world wide web of sorts. There is no known way to get off the wheels of technology unless you choose to desert every convenience you have had. And while this global presence may be comforting to some, it is quite disturbing to others – and they are convinced technology makes us less human.
Technology in 2020:
In this new decade, leadership entails the redefinition of intersecting humans and technology – the transition from an era of technology as a supportive tool, to the era of a techno-human, cyberpunk hybridization. Such evolution is inevitable, and is a mandated move to progress further towards our future.
With organizations and institutions building, manufacturing, and utilizing technologically-driven products and services from instruction booklets of the past, human progress is hindered greatly. With high expectations from consumers, one can only assume that people – especially newer generations of people view this ideal techno-human not as half the human they are, but rather twice the human they were.
Fifty two percent of technological consumers have reported that technology plays a prominent role in their lives, that it has a major, meaningful impact in what they see, do, and live every day. Time has shown that people do not grow to oppose and despise technology, but rather embrace it with an innate sense of intrigue and curiosity. There is anything but a single question that has been driving such revolutions in the technological industry – “what next?”.
So, what next? Is there anything to expect out there in the near future?
Most companies that are major players in the technological and innovation sector have pointed out that there is no one single roadmap for technological change in the future. While they are driven forward and progressing as per people’s expectations, there is no navigational reference that all of them abide by, and for good reason – innovation is a key player when it comes to changing the way tech works, and abiding by a fixed point hinders the freedom of all other variability.
The success of technology depends solely on how the human experience around it is designed – mind you, humans embrace technology, but not badly-designed technological innovations. To them, their convenience is put forth first. And that is the core of technology – human convenience.
Feeling less human around technology:
A common thinking point where a lot of people get confused is about the differences that exist between technology making us less human, and technology making us feel less human. It is a very rare sight to find someone who does not equate the statements, for it is a fallacy to do so.
On one hand, it can be said that technology does make us feel less human. Over the years, we have come to depend greatly on devices throughout every step of the day. From simple switches and vehicles to the incredibly complex Internet tools, technology has started to dominate our lives by being our crutch every step of the day, every step of the way. Too much technology leads to humans outsourcing basic and essential activities once defined to be human qualities – thought processes, memories, and analysis, for example.
A major activity that has been affected to a large extent to the worry of many humans has been communication. Ever since the era of the telephone, face-to-face communication has gradually reduced until around 2015, when video-conferences started becoming a regularity. Ever since, people have lived in a virtual world of communication, which has led to the worry and apprehension of an increasing number of people – the older, the more worrisome.
Decision making has always played a major role in the development of the human brain, so it is reasonable to assume that handing over decision making to continually advancing technology causes apprehension in the minds of some people. Yet, it is necessary to understand that while we are handing over our old decision-making skills, we are still in control of making apex decisions. We are continually developing new methods of decision-making trees in our brains, and technological advancements are helping us do that.
The final word on techno-humans:
It is a popular saying that technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is very tempting to give into it, enslaving ourselves in the process; on the other, we are in control of how we let it affect us as a whole. In the end, the line of technological influence is drawn by us – balancing out technological support and humane interaction is exactly what the futuristic techno-human will be able to automate based on our thought processes.
It is completely normal to feel inferior to technology – it is a natural reaction to something that is more efficient and effective unseen in the history of humanity. But it is important to realize the fact that technology is a tool – to give into it completely and not trust ourselves is akin to giving up completely. Reports of those living in developed countries asking for a right to disconnect from technology just so they can keep their mind on themselves for a while. While this can be expected in the future of technologically-developing countries, companies are already adding elements to work culture to make employees feel more important than technological implementations.
Remember – technology is a tool made available for the good of civilizations, societies, and humanity in itself. It is in our hands whether we make it make us feel less human; it is fact that in combination with technology, humanity only stands to win.