Among the most expected essay topics in CSS and UPSC exams, one is “Is Technology Making Us Less Human?”. Although this topic has already appeared in previous competitive exams, it seems to be evergreen.
Given the fact that technology is increasingly getting hold of us, this question remains a favorite one for examiners. They try to elicit the candidate’s perspective on the increasing technological advancement.
So, what’s your take on it? Is technology really making us less human? Or are we just being paranoid about technology?
This essay would be an attempt to weigh both sides of the question:
- Yes, technology is making us less human.
- No. technology is not making us less human rather we are becoming more human because of technology.
Let’s get started.
Technology has indeed changed our habits and lifestyle. We have become more dependent on technology in our everyday life. Today, we cannot even imagine living sans technology. Moreover, technology has made our lives entirely different from our ancestors.
Does this incorporation of technology in our lives really make us less human? Do we really need to get rid of technology to restore our previous selves?
When it comes to weighing the use and impact of technology, we see two pictures simultaneously. Technology does make us less human in some cases. At the same time, it elevates our humanness in other cases. So, let’s study things in some detail.
Yes, Technology is Making us Less Human
When we consider the following impacts of technology on us, we reach the conclusion that technology is making us less human.
1) Technology has made us Lethargic
The incorporation of technology has made a comfort zone around us. Today, all we want and do is to get things done without even moving an inch.
For example, when we feel hungry, we don’t cook or go outside to fetch something to eat simply because we can now order and receive food at our doorsteps in just a few clicks. The same is true for shopping and other activities.
When we need to find answers or do research on some topics, we do not visit libraries or open books. Rather we prefer to find answers on Google.
One can discuss countless examples of how technology has made us static and lethargic. This sedentary lifestyle that technology has provided us is indeed unhealthy.
Human beings are not trees. They can and should move. But, technology has made us trees that are just growing and inflating while remaining fixed in one place all day.
2) We are Connected yet Disconnected
Although technology has made our world more connected and integrated. In reality, we are more disconnected from each other.
Human beings – who once proudly used to claim the title of ‘social animals’ – are no more social. Mobile phones and laptops have completely chained our attention.
Social media and technological gadgets have completely disrupted the very fabric of the family that once used to be a primary social unit and institution.
It is very common to see that five family members if sitting in the same room would be completely silent and hooked to their electronic gadgets chatting with some virtual person whose identity might be completely fake.
3) Machines are Fast Replacing Humans in Every Domain
AI-based machines and robots are taking over us in almost every domain of life. We have become so dependent on them that even we think and make decisions with the help of these machines.
Artificial intelligence is replacing human intelligence in the offices and corporate sectors. Machines are taking jobs from us in factories ensuing unemployment.
Mentally we have become so paralyzed that we cannot make decisions without taking help from Google.
One such vivid example that just flashed while writing this essay is auto-correction and auto-suggestion. We have become so lax and carefree in writing because AI is with us to correct us every time we commit a mistake.
Intelligence and critical thinking are the main qualities that make human beings superior to other creatures. Unfortunately, our undue dependence on technology is furtively taking these abilities from us.
Thus, technology is surely making us less human.
4) We have Lost Originality in Everything
As social media has completely permeated our lives, it led to changes in our ideals and standards. For instance, today’s social media celebrities and their blind fan-following explain it all.
People having zero knowledge and talent are celebrities today. On the other hand, our educated and struggling youth today who actually deserve attention and admiration is completely sidelined. They are fast becoming a victim of the inferiority complex because of such ill-placed standards.
Human beings who were earlier admired, acknowledged and followed on the basis of their services, superior knowledge, and contributions are now quickly being replaced by social media clowns who become celebrities within no days.
Social media has actually turned things upside down, making no sense at all.
No, Technology is not Making us Less Human
A broader view of the uses and implications of technology shows us that technology is actually contributing to making us more human.
Following are those arguments that throw this into sharp relief.
1) Technology is the apex of Human Intelligence
Nature has bestowed human beings with infinite intelligence. Technology is one such depiction of our infinite capability.
The argument that human beings are being controlled by their own creation does not hold solid ground. This is because the creation cannot control its creator.
Those humans who have actually contributed to the development of such technology are moving ahead and unlocking more doors. They have not just simply sat down to enjoy the luxury and freedom that their own creation is providing them.
Technology was originally meant to serve humans. It is actually a failure on our part if we let ourselves be controlled by it.
If we have the liberty to enjoy free time just because our insignificant daily chores are taken over by technology, a glass half full shows we have more time now to invest in more technological advancement. We can also dedicate our energy and focus to art and other areas.
Human beings have always evolved with time. Now it is entirely our choice how we use the perks provided by the evolvements.
2) Nothing is beyond our reach today
There was a time when one had to travel from one country or continent to another to seek knowledge. That was actually a painstaking, time-consuming, and slow process.
There is so much to learn beneath the sky but with the limited time that we have in hand. This has always been true in every era.
Today, due to technological advancement, one has access to the oceans of knowledge with few clicks. Isn’t it better that today we can learn more in less time? Or you would still like to go back to the era when you would cross oceans to access books in libraries available across the oceans?
The same is true in the case of meeting people, sending letters or mail, shopping, traveling, etc. Literally, everything under the sky is within our reach.
3) Technology provides more avenues for growth
The Internet has provided us with more exposure to the outside world. From the comfort of our homes, we can learn anything online. Moreover, we can also apply for jobs or earn money via remote jobs without leaving our rooms. Apart, we have solutions to our problems available to us with a single click.
Furthermore, due to technological advancement, people from different races, religions, cultures, and traditions are closely knitted, learning from each other’s experiences.
Moreover, one can seek help from people on the internet over the issues that are considered taboo in society. For example, help in different forms is always available on the internet to someone who is suffering from depression. He can easily book an appointment with a psychiatrist and get help.
We can count infinite examples of how technological advancement has opened ways for an individual. Thus, we can’t deny that technology is actually making us more human.
4) Technology has unlocked our potential in management with great precision
Last but not least, it is due to technology that human beings today are more proactive in management.
In the field of disaster management, today satellites and other technological tools issue us with timely warnings about impending natural disasters.
If getting hit by disaster, it is indeed the technology that becomes our savior. With technology, the authorities timely estimate the damage and proactively make strategies to cope with the consequences.
In short, technology has enhanced our capacity in literally all fields.
To cap the whole discussion, we can say that technology itself has neither made us less nor made us more human. It is actually a double-edged sword.
That means it is entirely how we use technology that makes it constructive or destructive to us.
Tell us about your thoughts in the comment section. Is technology really making us less human?