The Tendency To Lack Empathy: Essay On Technological Influence - College Of The Canyons - English 101 - Essay

1786 words - 8 pages

The Tendency To Lack Empathy
Webster's Dictionary defines empathy as “the ability to understand and share the feelings
of another”, which is one of the most inherent skills that humans possess. It promotes love and
compassion and helps us understand different perspectives. We grow this ability through real life
experiences and observations. And while empathy is one of the most important aspects of
communication, it seems to get lost between mediums. The internet provides us with a myriad of
interconnection opportunities from video blogging to instant messaging. This, however, does not
always result in a better understanding of our peers. There have been many points to support this
idea: the hindrance of social awareness that the internet kindles, evergrowing accounts of
cyberbullying due to anonymity, the daily exposure to an abundance shocking images, and the
false image of “perfection” that social media encourages are just a few of the excess of problems
the internet promotes. Through further research and explanation, I hope to make it clear that the
internet has great effects on a person's level of empathy.
The internet indirectly promotes the isolation of an individual. We are able to connect
with thousands of people just from the comfort of our bed. The idealization of constant internet
connection has led to indirect addiction. As it progresses, one starts to commit more and more
time to using the internet which in turn depletes time dedicated to outside communication. When
someone is constantly surfing the web, they can easily drift away from reality and lose their
ability to interact face-to-face effectively. We are transforming our means to communicate based
on convenience. Sending heartfelt text messages or emails seems wonderful in theory but these
messages remain artificial and disingenuous. In his article, ​Expecting Empathy on the Internet,
Suren Ramasubbu reflects on a study he researched. A summer camp implemented a five day
technology break to examine the effects of personal communication and the recognition of
emotional cues. They found that “the imposed tech break significantly improved recognition of
nonverbal emotion cues for both facial expressions and videotaped scenes, indicating that
damage to social interaction caused by too much tech-indulgence” (Ramasubbu). As we increase
our technology usage, we can also see a significant incomprehension of the foundations for
genuine interpersonal communication.
It is no question that social media has laid the foundation for anonymous cruelty. And it’s
that same anonymity that allows people to indulge in this destructive behavior, consequence free.
This unique platform does not incite harm physically, but instead mentally which could be
considered worse. There many reasons why one might participate in this malor. Some are starved
for attention, thinking this is the simplest way to achieve this. More frequently, individuals
simply crave excitement and drama that can be achie...

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