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Is Social Media Destroying Empathy

The two most recent popes have opposing opinions on contemporary technologies. Young people “creative ways of contact that do not foster humaneness but instead risk generating a sense of loneliness and confusion,” according to Pope Benedict XVI (Lazar, 2010). In May 2016, Pope Francis described the Internet as a “gift from God,” saying, “The networks of human communication have achieved extraordinary achievements… The Internet, in particular, provides limitless opportunities for interaction and solidarity. Less pious sources also reflect these two opposed ideas. Sherry Turkle, a famous media historian, has a negative perspective of technology’s impact on people in her book Alone Together (2012), claiming that “we seem determined to associate human qualities with objects and content to treat each other as objects.” “What has changed is that communication technologies have made many of our interactions more permanent and widespread,” says prominent media theorist (Keith N. Hampton 2015), in contrast to Turkle’s desperate situation. As a result, our relationships with people around us are changing in essentially good ways.

Atlantic article “Have Cell Phones Destroyed Generation?” and Jean Twenge (2017a) is reviewing long-term mental health studies claiming that internet technology is destroying our social life. “Social networking sites like Facebook promise to connect us with friends,” says Twenge. However, the data provide a picture of the isolated and isolated generation of iGen youth. Twenge’s book emphasizes that internet technology allows this “isolated” generation to have more tolerance and compassion for people of all genders, races, and ethnicities: “They embrace, and instill in us a new sense of equality and intellect. Health. two tests of online technology were used to evaluate the use of online technology: one to measure the time that respondents per week spend using e-mail, and the other to measure time spent on the Internet (excluding e-mail). They were also asked how much time they spend online chatting (for example, in discussion forums). current trends in the use of internet technology at that time.

These three sets of data (our network penetration analysis and two GSS samples) reflect the balance patterns, implying the most complex link between socialism and the use of online technology. We summarize current research on online technology and socialism in this study, showing support for the positive and negative effects of technology on the friendship between available data. Despite some evident examples of internet technology being beneficial or harmful for sociability, we believe that its influence is mainly determined by how it is used—whether it allows for a deeper comprehension of other people’s thoughts. In particular, online and physical interactions are not the same. Online technology seems to obscure intellectual depth by providing anonymity and increasing social distance in most cases. “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog,” as the old cartoon goes on; online technology hides not only people’s identities but also their basic thoughts and feelings. Consider how much social and emotional information is presented in face-to-face interaction against tweets. Offline conversations rely on free speech, which employs tone, pitch shifts, and pauses to convey emotion and confidence ( Kraus, 2017).

In comparison, an internet tweet is limited to only 140 characters, removing complexity and relying solely on exclamation marks or cliched emoticons to describe the emotional experience. Even email, which allows for infinite writing, is frequently misunderstood due to the absence of apparent indications to people’s underlying thinking processes. We quickly admit that online contacts may lead to profound interpersonal connections, as some individuals meet their wives in chat rooms and online gaming groups. However, we believe there is a relative imbalance, with others’ thinking being more hidden online than offline. Even though online contacts are more alienating than real encounters, they are likely to allow greater interpersonal understanding when people already have a solid offline relationship. Consider if you’re reading your closest friend’s tweet or a stranger’s. You already know the daily thoughts and feelings of your closest friend, so the tweet provides context and emotional richness, enhancing your understanding of your friend’s mental processes and thus increasing intimacy. On the other hand, the tweet of a stranger does not have any basic context, providing little information about the basic processes of cognition and undermining socialism.

In one research, three autistic youngsters created a 3D avatar and engaged with other avatars in various social circumstances, such as someone cutting in line at a restaurant. They were posed empathy-based questions with proper replies being rewarded with a fiery avatar and inadequate responses being reprimanded. Empathy was operationalized in terms of tolerance, respect, and compassion toward others’ misfortunes, as evaluated at baseline and after the intervention. Comparative research of four youngsters used virtual reality to replicate social contact and found positive results. In the study, an avatar-based virtual environment successfully educated autistic persons on facial identification and emotion detection with 49 participants. Comparative analysis, including just eight autistic young adults, revealed that a 5-week program using virtual reality to engage participants in diverse social skills resulted in gains.

Technology can assist us in becoming more angelic by allowing us to reach out to others and boost them up at a reasonable cost. It may, however, unleash the worst of our demons by separating us from actual emotional indications of others’ pain. Although internet technology can be beneficial and harmful, it is not intrinsically good or evil, and it is more likely to strengthen pre-existing pro- and anti-social attitudes. According to research, technology can help people be more pleasant in offline interactions—as long as it doesn’t take the place of face-to-face conversation. Perhaps the most promising application of internet technology is helping people with weak social skills: several research show that persons with autism have lower sociability.

Work Cited

Hampton, Keith N. “Change in the social life of urban public spaces: The rise of mobile phones and women, and the decline of aloneness over 30 years.” Urban Studies 52.8 (2015): 1489-1504.

Lazar, S. W. “Intrinsic functional connectivity as a tool for human connectomics: theory, properties, and optimization.” Journal of Neurophysiology 103.1 (2010): 297-321.

Kraus. “Decision support from financial disclosures with deep neural networks and transfer learning.” Decision Support Systems 104 (2017): 38-48.


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