People are creative. Much of the technology you see around you didn't arise as an answer to any particular problem concerning survival.
The story goes that at the early stages of telephony, a telephone was put on the desk of the mayor of Chicago. His response was: "That's great. But what would you do with it?"
Telecommunication originated in the same spirit children have when they play. It was a great quest. The vaccuum tube which made long distance telephony possible was originally just a novelty. It just happened that it did exactly what the engineers at the American Telephone Co. needed to create a transcontinental phone call... the image came from the impression left on engineers by the transcontinental railroad. So the point was to do something amazing... like having a personal library on a device the size of a paperback book. ( $139 from Amazon.com.)
In the late 1800's the telephone came to a small town in the Mid-West. In those days the central switching was done by a woman who sat at a switchboard. When the telephone arrived, a lonely mortician found his business had disappeared. The switchboard operator was the daughter of his competitor. Every time somebody called in and asked for a mortician, the girl would connect them to her father. The lonely mortician went down to his basement and invented an automatic replacement for her. Americans had already invested in the technology they had... so they turned him away. He went to France and had success there. The first action of Bell Labs, founded in 1920 was to buy the patent for this switch and begin manufacturing it.
In every case there is a human story involved in the production of technology. Technology doesn't have the power to dehumanize. Only people can do that to themselves. So the question is: why would they do that?