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A Field Guide to Internet Emotion > 5.0 Empathy Online
January 9, 2022 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST
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Tech emotionographer Pamela Pavliscak hosts an 8-month Interintellect Salon series while writing her new book #Feels: How Technology is Changing Our Emotional Life for the Better.
Have you ever wondered why we feel compelled to note and name every new variation of sadness online? Or what you call that emotional hangover you can get after scrolling social media? Or how to explain that little leap of anxiety when the 3 dots appear as someone writes you a text message, and then mysteriously disappears? Then this is the salon series for you!
#Feels 4.0 > Attune
The fifth session of the series is all about how we can get in alignment. Even while we’re told that the internet is killing empathy, we’ve quickly become experts at seeking out (and showing) empathy online. With more of daily life moving to screens, people are studying together on Twitch, eating together on YouTube, and chatting together on Clubhouse. And we’ve adopted makeshift mood strategies to match.
If we want to catch someone’s attention without seeming needy, we can try vaguebooking. If we want to express an oddly specific sense of something, we can post a TFW (That Feel When). And if we understand that vibe expressed, we can chime in with an “It me” or This^. Soon, we may be able to tag emotion in real-time using augmented reality, make emotion visible with mood clothing, or simulate emotional experience in VR. Will this mean a future of performative empathy for the highest score on a corporate leaderboard? Or will it lead to true relationship rapport?
Please read or watch the following, before the session:
- Watch Chris Milk’s TED talk How Virtual Reality Can Create the Ultimate Empathy Machine
- Read Left to Our Own Devices, a quick gloss on the book by Margaret Morris in The Atlantic
- Read cyberpsychologist John Suler’s early work on the Online Disinhibition Effect
- Consider How to Be More Empathetic, one of the New York Time’s Year of Living Better Guides
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