Digital Emotions and Fading of Humanity


Intimacy is dead. I am not talking about sex. People always confuse intimacy with sex when it is much more than that. The warmth and comfort we feel when we are with the people that matter, the physical contact of holding hands, a wholesome hug or even a meaningful conversation, these intimate moments define us as humans. 

Photo by Kranich17

The bond was damaged before the pandemic hit us. Many blame the internet but it is just a giant digital ocean. What you choose to do with that ocean is what matters. Addiction to social media platforms is making us lose touch with ourselves, making us less thoughtful and insensitive. We are drowning in this ocean and humanity is fading away.

Emotions make us human. Empathy requires us to feel and comprehend what others are experiencing as well as to see things from their perspective. This further helps us build an understanding of our own emotions. The most important thing about experiencing anything is to be there but now there is barely any need for that. The bond is imaginary so how can the feelings be real? The way we express our emotions, and how we feel through the net is making us cold, less empathetic, and perhaps, even less human.

The sense of understanding, awareness and connection with the surrounding is diminishing. Even when travelling, the focus is on capturing insta-worthy content versus enjoying the experience. Information overload as well as desensitizing through graphic visuals, harsh interactions and cyberbullying is leading to us being less attentive, impulsive, restless and also witnessing an increase in mental disorders and even suicide.

Many argue that communication is made easier thanks to the internet, yet people are getting even more lonely and falling into depression. There was a study published in the October 2014 issues of Computers in Human Behavior that stated that digital media is decreasing children's ability to read emotions and I completely agree with that notion You cannot read emotions through face time, text or emojis because it is easier to fake them when you are not there in person. So, you never really know if it is genuine or just a facade.

Wall-E depicted the perfect future. Maybe we are even closer to it than expected. People hovering in private shuttles, side by side yet still apart, not moving, communicating through what seems like the future of the current smartphone. Even though it may look like a happy future and seduce you at a glance, a deeper look will make you understand how depressing it is once you realize we will not be living like humans, but rather meat robots. Wall-E was more empathetic and human as a robot in this movie. What are we even doing with our existence on this planet?

Social skills are very important for human communication and learning to understand non-verbal cues strengthen relationships. The rise of digital media has led to "Empathy Apps". How absurd! Relearning what was once an essential part of human social skills development through daily interaction since you are a child is now being taught through apps?

Empathy is important for the human race to grow together as a species as well as a society. Disconnecting from the internet may not be an option but saving yourself from drowning in it is. Stay afloat, detox from the net whenever possible, get out and breathe some fresh, hopefully, less-polluted air, meet people, and live. 

Don't abuse technology and get abused in return. Getting sucked into the dark hole of the web will strip you from your most precious asset, empathy. 

Hold on to it, you need it to save the world, and yourself.

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