Emotional Climate Change—an inconvenient idea

Hello,

this is the beta ver­sion of my com­ing web­site’s home­page.

It’s a sum­mary of my con­cept of an Emo­tional Cli­mate Change.

Happy to hear your com­ments.

Mar­cus.

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Emo­tional Cli­mate Change ?

De­pres­sion, iso­la­tion or stress are more than just side effects of mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion. They bare self-re­in­forc­ing po­ten­tial.

We be­lieve our so­cial and emo­tional en­vi­ron­ment is sys­tem­at­i­cally, in­creas­ingly and pre­dictably dam­aged.

We think it’s time to ac­knowl­edge this de­vel­op­ment that shows strik­ing par­allels to global warm­ing and give it a name:

Emo­tional Cli­mate Change (ECC)

This web­site is ded­i­cated to show that...

… there is a long term, nega­tive trend of our men­tal well-be­ing.
… digi­tal tech­nol­ogy con­tributes to and dra­mat­i­cally ac­cel­er­ates this trend

.… emo­tional de­gen­er­a­tion even­tu­ally may cause effects of global scale.

Key Findings

Time Com­pres­sion is a main driver of higher stress lev­els, sup­port­ing im­pul­sive, ag­gres­sive and over­all ir­ra­tional be­hav­ior. At the same time, less and less de-stress­ing ac­tivi­ties (sports, so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, sex...) are performed.

“God only knows what it’s do­ing to our chil­dren’s brains...”​
(Sean Parker, Face­book found­ing pres­i­dent, Ax­ios.com, Nov. 9th 2017)

Dear Sean, not sure about God, but HERE is what Face­book is do­ing:

Digi­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and so­cial me­dia are not only spoiling our so­cial skills and sup­port­ing em­pa­thy loss.

They es­pe­cially weaken our abil­ity to achieve and main­tain self es­teem. The dopamine that re­ally should re­ward our kids for healthy so­cial be­hav­ior (form­ing deeper re­la­tion­ships, co­op­er­at­ing for mu­tual benefit, deal­ing with con­flicts...) is now sadly only con­di­tion­ing them to spend more time shar­ing and lik­ing. But only one’s own achieve­ment can sup­port self es­teem, which is the core source of hap­piness and satis­fac­tion.

Low self-es­teem (LSE) in con­trary can bring out the worst in hu­mans: Hu­mil­i­at­ing, dis­cred­it­ing or dom­i­nat­ing oth­ers are un­con­cious at­tempts to com­pen­sate own defic­its. This way, LSE is prob­a­bly the biggest rea­son for bul­ly­ing, tyranny and evil in gen­eral.

Face­book is spoiling minds on a global scale.
We call that men­tal ter­raform­ing.

Ad­di­tional but sec­ondary drivers are ur­ban­iza­tion, pa­leo clash­ing, cul­tural and men­tal im­pov­er­ish­ment and even pros­per­ity (thru var­i­ous mechanisms).

The Emo­tional Cli­mate tilts when the defic­its ac­quired by digi­tal gen­er­a­tions are passed on to their kids di­rectly—i.e. with­out them even hav­ing to be ex­posed to digi­tal challenges. As most of one’s self es­teem is ac­quired dur­ing child­hood, the di­rect LSE effects of so­cial me­dia on it’s users are rather small. So­cially spoiled par­ent­ing will have much more im­pact. We get a taste of this with the so called Millen­ni­als already now:

​​​

“Mille­nials… are tough to man­age… ac­cused of be­ing en­ti­tled and nar­cis­sis­tic,… un­fo­cused and lazy...”​
(Si­mon Sinek, “Millen­ni­als in the Work­place” In­ter­view, Dec. 2016)

Best case, things will get worse only grad­u­ally, like they did for the last few decades: An even more ‘strictly busi­ness’ life, more stress, less fulfill­ment, less hap­piness.

What re­ally scares the sh*t out of us are the dy­nam­ics of in­creased ag­gres­sive po­ten­tials, em­pa­thy loss and lower self es­teem, as any of these is likely to breed all kinds of toxic be­hav­ior, let alone their com­bi­na­tion. The in­fa­mous ex­am­ple of such com­bi­na­tion is the situ­a­tion in Ger­many be­fore World War II—and we can’t help notic­ing similar ten­den­cies right now.

This is why we see an ur­gent need for change, namely

  • stan­dards for emo­tional safety in technology

  • emo­tional and so­cial guidance and ed­u­ca­tion for everyone

  • es­tab­lish­ing em­pa­thy, emo­tions and ra­tio­nal­ity as value in so­ciety

OK, this was the briefest sum­mary of our con­cepts. Feel free to learn more in de­tail, es­pe­cially about the emo­tional mechanisms at work that we think ev­ery­body should be aware of.