The Essay as transition, and our ability to feel emotions

The combined essay was anew experience for me, for I had never utilized google docs with that many people logged in at the same time. It was an interesting experience seeing people correct grammar and other mistakes made by students. One of the things that stuck out to me was the final product. We began with a document that had questions and instructions, and ended with one that had multiple paragraphs for a single question. I viewed this transition as being similar to our society’s development in technology. We began with instructions telling us to do something (e.g. create a social media site, make friends more accessible) and a blank page. From there our society took many different inputs (representing students)and fixed errors where there were any. We may have begun with different paragraphs about to deal with technology, but we end up with a more polished version of what we started. Our essay was not perfect , I doubt any were, and neither is technology. It is all a process of writing, checking the writing, and either keeping it or changing it.

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One of the comments that stuck out to me the most would definitely have to be a student ,mentioning a Buzzfeed article, stating  that “sometimes we don’t need data to tell us when we are happy, or full, or slept well. We just know when those things happen to us.” While I do agree with this statement, I would like to propose the viewpoint that this “knowing” is under appreciated and will soon cease to exist. I’m certain that there are biological ways to explain the emotions that we feel, but I think our mentality is perhaps the most important indicator of such feeling. If we value the ability to feel happy and know that we are happy, then we will continue to experience this. However, if we do not value it then it does not become useful to us. Many modern day humans are beginning to value the numbers more than the experience, and thus will lose the ability to “know” their emotions. Numbers are increasingly becoming such a big aspect of our lives, and the quantified self has aided this process. People want to see numbers. The number is a sort of validation of their existence and gives them feelings of certainty. Any person could easily say that they are happy, or that they are not, and this can be disputed. If there are numbers that tell us “heart rate increasing, you are happy/excited” then this feeling cannot be disputed. My argument goes back to the saying “use it or lose it.” Sadly, I feel that people are no longer valuing the ability to feel emotion as often and will lose it. Yes, we can feel emotion, but for how long? Will there be a point where data is the only source of feeling? The near future will reveal the answer.

 

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