How Does Technology Influence Your Emotions?

The technology we use in our everyday life is rapidly changing. In what ways are our emotions influenced by that technology?

The last century has seen the introduction of revolutionary technology, from the television to the Internet to the smartphone. These devices are used by most people every single day, often obsessively so.

In turn, our brains, which evolved without these influences, are reacting to and being shaped by this use. In particular, our emotions are being targeted by advertisers, media companies, and other people.

As you go about your day, can you think of ways your emotions are engaged via technology?

Positive emotions, like joy, love, happiness, and glee might be triggered in a number of ways. Seeing pictures of family members hundreds or even thousands of miles away might bring a smile to your face. The use of GPS might get you to your destination quickly and safely. You might laugh at a shared online joke or meme.

Of course, negative emotions are also being influenced. Cable news gets you to stay tuned by presenting scary news items. Advertisers make you feel envy toward others to get you to buy goods and services. You might also, at times, feel anger, jealousy, and lust.

How are your emotions influenced by our modern-day technology? What might you do to limit that influence, or at least not be controlled by it?

Related questions: Is technology neutral? What role does technology play in your life? What skills have you lost due to technology? What is the right amount of emotion? How does media manipulate you?

Are You Worried About The Coming Year?

While there is certainly good news in the world, there are several areas that may be cause for concern in the coming year. Are you worried?

As a new year begins, sometimes you can be optimistic about the future. However, if your tendency is to be pessimistic, there are plenty of things to be worried about.

A notable one, at least in the U.S., is that it is a presidential election year. Politics are already dividing our nation in a way not seen for decades, and a presidential race threatens to cause even further inflame tensions. As misinformation spreads quickly, the two sides have difficulty agreeing on basic facts.

Another concern is climate change. Each year is warmer than the previous year, which has led to a stunning number of environmental disasters: floods, wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, and so on. The pattern would seem to suggest this year will see even more extreme weather across the globe.

Two ongoing wars, one between Russia and Ukraine, and another between Israel and Hamas, have many feeling uneasy. In addition to the increase of immigrants fleeing for their lives, both conflicts could have drastic impacts on the world.

Technology continues to shape our lives in radical ways. The rise of social media has left many users feeling isolated and depressed. The coming age of artificial intelligence may touch nearly every sector of the economy, threatening to change our lives in ways we don’t yet understand.

Is this doom and gloom warranted? There are also positive news stories — do they get pushed aside for headline-grabbing bad news? Is our anxiety legitimate, or are we kept in a state of fear by corporations and governments with ulterior motives?

Are you worried about the coming year?

Related questions: What is the greatest problem facing humanity? How is climate change impacting you? Will the future be better than the present?

 

What Was Notable About The Past Year?

As the year draws to a close, it is natural to look back on the events of the previous 365 days. What happened that was notable?

Over the course of a year, many things happen. Some are happy; others sad. Some might make you joyful, or frustrated, or might even leave you feeling indifferent.

As a subset of everything that happened, there are the events that are notable, for one reason or another.

For a start, it may be personally notable for you specifically. Perhaps you lost and/or started a job. Maybe you relocated. You may have lost someone close to you, or experienced a significant birthday. A personally notable event is something that impacts your everyday life in a pretty major way.

Then there are those things that happen to those people close to you. Someone may have had a health scare, or a sibling welcomed a new baby to the mix. These things may not directly impact you, but may have changed the lives of those you care about the most.

Then there are things with broader significance, but may be even further removed from your day-to-day life. Think political unrest (at home or abroad), or maybe environmental disasters, like flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, or something similar. Ongoing or starting wars or conflicts are another possibility.

So what are your high-(or low-)lights from the year just passed? Was it more or less eventful from previous years?

Related questions: What news from the last year made you optimistic? Who is your MVP for the year? What is something you are glad you did this year? What should you let go of?

Magazine Or Newspaper?

When you read short-form non-fiction, do you tend to read in a newspaper, or in a magazine? Or something else altogether?

Share why if you wish.

Magazine Or Newspaper?

How Do You Maintain Cultural Literacy?

In our fractured, constantly updating society, trends and fashions change at a mind-boggling rate. How do you maintain cultural literacy, and stay on top of it all?

Hundreds of years ago, very little would change from one generation to the next. Your life was probably very similar to the life lived by your parents, and their life was largely the same as their parents. And your children’s lives would look much the same as yours.

Now, however, that is not the case. Someone born in 1900, if they lived long enough, would have been alive for the first airplane flight and also the first trip to the moon.

Fifty years ago, there was no Internet, no cell phones, the number of television stations could be counted on one hand, and so on. As technology changes, our lives change as well. And the rate of change is accelerating.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


In concrete terms, this means that there is an ever-increasing amount of cultural information to track. Older generations had to keep track of actors, known from theater, TV and movies. But now, there are also people famous just for being famous. In addition, there are celebrities that are “Internet famous” — that is, they have popular YouTube channels, are Instagram influencers, or are known for their Tik Tok dances.

The same thing is true all throughout culture. In addition to traditional authors and reporters, there are now bloggers and cable news pundits. More traditional sports figures have been joined by video gamers and esoteric competitions like marble racing. Whatever niche interest you have almost certainly has a website or wiki page with details and further information.

There are not enough hours in the day to keep up with it all.

So how, then, can you learn enough about these things that you can have a reasonable conversation about them should the need arise? Or be able to recognize the benefits that might be available to you, or understand the potential risks or challenges they might pose to society in general? In short, how do you maintain cultural literacy?

Related questions: Are we too busy? How can we maintain wonder? How do you adopt new ideas? What social media platforms do you use?