"Whether or not technology is affecting humanity has been a question longer time than people realize, and it has been a fascinated popular culture for many years. Science-fiction films like "Metropolis" and "The Matrix" have dealt with the subject, and they were released in 1928 and 1999, respectively. Books like Aldous Huxley’s "Brave New World" and William Gibson’s "Neuromancer" also covered this subject. And Andy Rooney, of "60 Minutes", has been terrified of technology since 1898.
"One could go on forever about how the fear that of technology taking over humanity has had an impact on our culture but the basic question still remains: is technology robbing us of humanity? The answer is more complicated than many think.
"Those who think that technology is limiting humanity focus their attack on social media. Sure, things like Facebook and Twitter allow everyone to keep in touch with just about anyone they’ve ever met, but at the same time, it restricts that communication. Something is definitely lost when one jumps between talking to someone face-to-face and simply posting a 400-character message on their Facebook wall. It can feel like people are not communicating with each other anymore; it is more like we are communicating at one another.
"Social media can rob us of our privacy as well. There has been plenty of controversy with Facebook giving out the personal information of its members to third-party applications (basically the companies who run games like Mob Wars and Farmville). Facebook now has an application that lets one tell his or her friends their exact location at any given moment. That all but proves that privacy is fleeting and it is even harder then ever to maintain. There is something strangely Orwellian about being able to know exactly where all of your friends are at any given moment without even asking them.
"But then there is another element to this issue that people don’t realize: humans have been interacting with technology since the dawn of time. One definition of technology states that it is the sum of the ways in which a social group provides itself with the material objects of civilization. Basically, technology is something that makes a process, or life itself, easier. This means that technology is not a concert thing; it is a relative term. So many things in society that are now taken for granted were actually once considered technology. Fire was technology. The wheel was technology. So were many other raw materials that mankind has been using for thousands of years.
"The idea of people integrating technology into their lives to the point where they cannot live without it is not a new concept at all. Society’s fear of new technology taking over and affecting social and political norms is not a new practice either. Four hundred years ago, the astronomer Galileo Galilei was placed under house arrest by the Catholic Church for using his telescope to determine that Earth revolved around the sun, and the church did not admit it was wrong for punishing him until 1992. One could find many other examples of society worrying about the effects of technology throughout history, proving that intrusive technology is always in the eye of the beholder.
"Sure, nothing Galileo did was nearly as advanced as someone putting personal information on a vast network that billions of people can see, so maybe people have reached a breaking point where humanity and individuality have been completely consumed by technology. But soon another wave of even more advanced technology will come along and make people long for the days of Facebook and Twitter. The bottom line is, you can only determine if technology is affecting our humanity right now and then just barely. No one knows what the future will hold. Beside, that people still question whether or not humanity is in danger of falling due to technology proves humanity still exists. When people completely forget about humanity, and only care about logic and primary directives, then one could say that humanity has been surrendered.