Empathy

19 Feb

Saturday is the worst day to blog, simply because I tend not to be thinking about anything in particular.  I’d like to say I’m one of those people who keeps their mind sharp no matter what day it is, but I tend to spend the better part of weekends doing nothing but sitting and dicking around on the internet.

While certainly not all of my peers are the same way, a good portion of them are.  This begs the question, which CNN so conveniently attempted to answer, as to what kind of an effect the internet is having on our generation.  Studies are finding that people between the ages of 17 and 23 are increasingly beginning to show a difficulty in registering empathy.  Having been exposed to countless of videos of people getting hurt on YouTube, not to mention the 2 Girls 1 Cup type shock sites that abound on the tubes has created a generation of people who cannot easily sense emotion in other people.

In a 2007 study of 197 students age 17 to 23 years, participants were asked to quickly identify the emotional expression of a face as it rapidly morphed from neutral to an angry or happy face. Happy faces were identified faster than angry faces, but when the volunteers played a violent video game before the facial recognition task, they were much slower to recognize the happy facial expression.

These kinds of results raise important issues about the merits of technology vs. the necessity of the human experience and emotions, and what the inevitable increase in reliance on technology means for us as human beings.

I haven’t got the answers, but I hope someone does.

full article here

-Bryan

currently playing: selfish whales – “platforms”

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