English 101 The Internet and Empathy

english project and need support to help me learn.

The Internet and Empathy: You will argue whether or not the internet is making us lose our empathy.
Requirements: 4 pages
Collins 1 Essay #2 General Prompt: The Human I Pretend to Be For this essay, we will be reading, researching, and reviewing essays and articles that deal with our humanity, our morals and our ethics, and more particularly how our attitudes, ideologies, and even our intelligence(s) are being shaped in a world that is dominated by technological advancements. We will be asking questions such as: What does it mean to be human? What happens to empathy when you no longer need to experience humanity face to face? How might the “birth” or “creation” of a “virtual self” bolster or hinder our relationships with our fellow humans? Are we becoming something other than “human” as technology advances? Are we gaining or losing intelligence? Are we no longer human? Are we Cyborgs? Are we “post-humans?” Many of these are “big” questions that will take some serious thought, reflection, and research in order to form a determined and educated opinion. During this essay block you will be presented with 3 short articles/essay prompts of which you will choose 1 for the essay. The prompt that you choose will focus on a particular topic and will thus determine the focus of your research as we work up to writing the essay. This essay asks that you analyze the argument/s found in a researched, peer-reviewed article from the Colleges Library Databases. You will then use your researched articles/essay, along with any of the articles that we read during this essay block in order to create an argument for the essay Once you have chosen your topic, and gathered your research, you will write the essay following the criteria on the prompt you selected. This essay is worth 200 points. The topics are as follows (you will find these topics/prompts on canvas, right under this general prompt): 1. The Internet and Intelligence: You will argue whether or not the internet is making us lose our intelligence. 2. The Internet and Empathy: You will argue whether or not the internet is making us lose our empathy. 3. Post-Humanism: You will argue whether or not it is moral/ethical to “enhance” or “augment” humans beyond what is considered to be “normal.” Make sure you read all three topics and their corresponding prompt (each prompt consists of a short article/excerpt of an article followed by the essays guidelines. Read the prompt that you choose multiple times! ‘
Adapted from: Is the internet killing empathy? By Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan A TV news reporter for a Los Angeles station was doing an on-camera report on the Grammy Awards Sunday night, and suddenly her speech became garbled. Was she having a stroke on the air? The newscast quickly cut away when it became apparent that she was in trouble. But by the next morning, televised news reports were making it part of their Grammy coverage. (One AOL.com page featured the incident at the top of its five “memorable moments” from the Grammys.) The video went viral on the internet. At the UK Telegraph website, where we caught up with the video showing her sudden slurred speech, 9,388 people noted they “liked” the video with a thumbs up signal and 6,027 recommended it to Facebook friends. People couldn’t turn away. They were drawn to it, watching the images over and over with the same kind of grim curiosity that compels drivers to slow down and gaze at a fatal car crash — drawn often by a subconscious fear that the same thing could happen to us. By observing it in other people, we have our own experience of it, but at an emotional distance. The more we observe terrifying events happening to other people, the more they reinforce our sense of denial and detachment: It can’t happen to us. Online, at least, the reporter’s incident evoked a range of emotional reactions — anxiety, laughter, horror and perhaps a voyeuristic thrill. But where is the empathy when thousands linger on YouTube, repeatedly watching this unfortunate woman possibly in real danger? In an earlier time we might have been instructed to look away or give the person privacy. No more. We click and click. Have our brains become so desensitized by a 24/7, all-you-can-eat diet of lurid flickering images that we’ve lost all perspective on appropriateness and compassion when another human being apparently suffers a medical emergency? Have we become a society of detached voyeurs? According to the most recent findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8- to 18-year-olds on average spend 11½ hours a day using their technology. Their brains have become “wired” to use their tech gadgets effectively in order to multi-task — staying connected with friends, texting and searching online endlessly, often exposing their brains to shocking and sensational images and videos. Many people are desensitizing their neural circuits to the horrors they see, while not getting much, if any, off-line training in empathic skills. And the effects may even reach young people. In a 2002 study published in Brain and Cognition, Robert McGivern and co-workers found that adolescents struggle with the ability to recognize another person’s emotions. The teenage volunteers in their study had particular difficulty identifying specific emotions expressed by another person’s face. These young people were at an age when they are still developing the capacity for empathy, the ability to understand another person’s emotional point of view. In many ways, the young teenage brain is nonempathic. Scientists have even pinpointed a specific region of the brain that controls this tendency toward lack of empathy and selfishness. When making choices, young people use a brain network in their temporal lobes
(underneath the temples), while older (and more empathic) people use the prefrontal cortex — a region that processes how our decisions affect others. We are concerned that all this tech time interferes with young people’s learning and development of basic empathy skills, such as maintaining eye contact or noticing subtle nonverbal cues during a conversation. Empathy is learned, but it can be un-learned as well. Using functional MRI scanning, our UCLA research team found that internet savvy middle-aged and older adults showed dramatically greater brain activity when searching online compared with age-matched “internet-naïve” volunteers. When these older naïve volunteers started searching online for an hour a day, after only one week their frontal lobe neural circuits showed significant activity increases during internet searching. Brains of any age seem sensitive and reactive to exposure to technology. Curiosity is human — our brains constantly seek novelty and stimulation from both positive and negative sources. But empathy is human, too. Noticing your first response when faced with someone else’s misfortune and trying to get some perspective on it is one strategy to push back technology’s assault on our brain’s ability to feel compassion for others. When our brains become wired to disassociate from unpleasant experiences, we lose a part of what defines our humanity. After reading the article write an essay in which you argue whether or not you think the internet is making us less empathetic. Why do you believe this, or why not? Support your point with original and compelling arguments that go beyond those suggested in this article. Defend your position using compelling counterarguments. Your essay should show an understanding of this article, and your own research without simply repeating it (unless quoting), and you should incorporate specific details from your own experience and knowledge into your response. The specific requirements for this essay are as follows: • MLA format. • 4-5 pages minimum. • Summarize the main idea of the article. • At least 3 additional sources not including this article. • Write a thesis as the last sentence of your introduction in which you take a stance on the issue (do you think that the internet is making us less empathetic?). • Include at least 3 quotes from your own research, this article, or the readings we have done for this essay block. • Include a counterargument.

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