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?

2 thoughts on “How Does Technology Influence Your Emotions?”

  1. Overall, I feel very fortunate to live in a time with so many technological advances and conveniences. I love it when my watch informs me that I’ve burned a lot of calories during the day. My laptop goes with me almost everywhere, so I can journal and access the internet. I don’t know how I’d survive without a refrigerator, stove, or coffee grinder. My camera brings me joy as I take pictures of my garden and while I am traveling. The list goes on.

    However, the positive emotions I feel sometimes get tempered by guilt. The conveniences I avail myself of often play a part in destroying our environment (e.g., air travel, the mined and hard-to-recycle minerals used in the batteries of all my gadgets). I also feel guilty that I don’t know (and currently don’t research) about advocacy to promote more capturing more natural methods of capturing energy for my gadgets, appliances, etc. (e.g., solar, tidal, wind, geothermal) or place limits on individual and societal uses of resources.

    I am conflicted and haven’t decided what to do about that yet.

    1. Michael, check out Excel Energy’s program to buy wind energy, if you haven’t already. I’m paying a few dollars a month more in order to use less energy generated by fossil fuels. As time goes by I hope to increase the portion that goes to wind.

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