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. 

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 makes 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 and 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. The bond is imaginary, so how can the feelings be real? How we express our emotions and feelings through the net makes us cold, less empathetic, and perhaps, even less human.

The sense of understanding, awareness, and connection with the surroundings diminishes. Even when travelling, the focus is on capturing insta-worthy content versus enjoying the experience. Information overload, as well as desensitization through graphic visuals, harsh interactions, and cyberbullying, is leading to us being less attentive, impulsive, and 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. A study published in the October 2014 issues of Computers in Human Behavior Computers in Human Behavior stated that digital media decreases 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 live 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 and 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, 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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