Emotional Climate Change—an inconvenient idea
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.
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.
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.