Today we were discussing how technology, the internet and social media has changed the way we connect and communicate with each other.

Our group focused on empathy and how it can be portrayed or, more often than not, lost over the internet. I really enjoyed the group discussion. Some of the points included:

Social Facade: People often cultivate a certain version of themselves online, monitoring carefully how they are portrayed. Some people take photos off themselves doing nice things and helping those in need because they want the media attention, not because they want the human interaction of actually doing the good deed.

Confidence: Trolls don’t live under bridges anymore, they live on the internet and the victims aren’t three little goats anymore, they are you and me. People often become over confident, when hidden behind a facade, they sat things they would have the courage to in real lief. Trolls and ‘haters’ forget that their comments will hurt because they are so disconnected, because they will not see the emotional reaction. The internet creates an emotional barrier which makes empathy almost impossible.

Using Social Media to Avoid Actually Being Social: People have forgotten how to have normal conversations, even finding human interaction frightening. People have become socially awkward through using social media too much.

Empathy – A Social Trend? Every time there is a global disaster, social media shows ’empathy’. We are more connected with the world than ever but empathy often doesn’t stretch beyond changing our profile picture filter.

Fishing for Empathy: People put things on the internet to get a reaction or because they want sympathy and attention. But how effective can a few comments or likes on such a post be, how can they measure up against real empathy. ‘OX’ is never going to measure up against a physical hug.

The poster we produced and presented is shown below.

empathy

I think there is so much that can be explored and discussed relating to connectivity and technology and look forward to the next few weeks of this topic.

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