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?

What Makes For A Satisfied Mind?

To live well, some philosophies say, you should try to cultivate a satisfied mind. What does that mean, and how might you accomplish it?

There are many reasons why you mind might not be satisfied.

On a personal level, you might want more: more money, more status, more stuff. Ambition can be a good motivator, but it doesn’t produce satisfaction.

You might also look at the world and want more justice. You might see the flaws in our society, or empathize with plight of others that are suffering. That might lead you to attempt to seek positive change. That’s a good thing — but “satisfied” is not the word you would use to describe that.

There are also a host of issues to be worried about, from civil unrest, to artificial intelligence, to climate change, to income inequality, and on and on. Yet another reason why you might not have a satisfied mind.

So what can you do? How might you quell your fears, curb your wants and desires? To calm your thoughts, and bring about a state of being that is less anxiety ridden, and therefore more healthy? And lastly, is there a concern that cultivating a satisfied mind might dissociate you from others?

Related questions: What do you think about when your mind is not preoccupied? How do you find peace when you need it? What do you do to clear your mind? Are we too busy?

How Can You Be More Responsible Online?

These days, we all live a significant amount of our lives online. That naturally raises the question: how can we be responsible in our online lives?

Despite the fact that we have steadily increased the amount of time we spend online, not much good has come of it.

On a personal basis, the promise of the internet was to bring people together, even if separated by thousands of miles. While that happens, an increasing percentage of users feel more lonely and isolated than ever before. It is also true that it is remarkably easy to have your identity stolen.

Things aren’t much better on a societal level, either. On the plus side, anyone with an internet connection has access to a remarkable amount of information. Unfortunately, there is also more misinformation available as well. Rumors, lies, and conspiracy theories spread more quickly online than does the truth.

So what can we do about it?

One thing is for each of us to be more responsible in our online lives. This responsibility extends to how we protect our own information, how we behave to other online users, and what information we consume and share with others.

What, specifically, do you do to guard your personal information? What do you do to see someone as an individual when all they are to you is pixels on a screen? And how do you make sure you are not falling prey to hoaxes and lies that you might encounter on your internet travels?

Related questions: Can an internet friend be a true companion? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us? Are you addicted to your phone? What is your bubble?

How Do You Stay Healthy?

Once you understand what it means to be healthy, you can change your lifestyle accordingly. But how do you maintain it?

One of the sad facts about aging is that it gets more difficult to recover from setbacks. Losing weight is harder. Recuperation from injury takes longer. Muscle mass is slower to build, and faster to be lost. It is more difficult to perform at a high level if you don’t eat or drink properly.

But even beyond aging, maintaining a certain level of health or fitness is a different skill set than achieving it in the first place.

Can you share the things you do to stay healthy?

How do you stick to a healthy diet, when there are so many unhealthy options all around us?

What exercises do you find best for maintenance? And how do you continue an exercise plan, when it is all too easy to take a day off, sleep in, or skip the gym?

Perhaps the most challenging of all, how do you stay mentally fit? What do you do to stay motivated, hopeful, and curious, rather than lethargic, distraught, and rigid-minded? You might be able to lift weights or do reps to keep your body in shape, but there is no equivalent way to keep your mind sharp. So what do you do?

In short, how do you stay healthy?

Related questions: What does it mean to be healthy? Are you aging well? How are your body and mind intertwined? How do you exercise?

How Do You Talk About Yourself?

Each one of us has several opportunities to talk about ourselves every day. What you say and how you say it can determine how others see you, and even how you see yourself.

One opportunity to talk about yourself comes at work. As an extreme example, you might explain to your boss about something you accomplished, or alternately you could refer to mistakes you made or challenges you face. Your boss, or your co-workers, might see you differently in each case.

The same holds true with friends, or even your spouse or partner. If you constantly make jokes at your own expense, for instance, the repetition may lead people around you to view you negatively. At best, they might decide you have a self-esteem problem. At worst, they may come to believe the bad things you say.

And, of course, the most important person you may talk to yourself about you is you. If you make a mistake, you might mutter to yourself ‘That was dumb!’ or you might say, ‘At least I tried!’

How you think of yourself can’t help but be influenced by the things you tell yourself about yourself. If you constantly think about how klutzy you are, for instance, you will start to think about yourself as klutzy. It might even lead to behavior that causes the belief to come true.

There is a reason that self-affirmation is recommended as a way to start your day. Your thoughts have a way of coming true, and positive thoughts can lead to positive outcomes. Similarly, negative thoughts can lead to the reverse.

How do you think about yourself?

Related questions: Do you talk to yourself? Would you be friends with yourself? How do you cheer yourself up? How do you judge yourself? Are there beliefs about yourself you’ve had to let go?