Panther Press

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As Robots Begin Feeling, Humans May Struggle to Follow Suit

Ryan Sheehan, '17, Staff Editor

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In this modern era, it is practically impossible to avoid technology in our daily lives unless you intend to move out to the Amish country. Almost every part of our day is influenced by technology in one way or another, and it’s unlikely this is going to change. Although writing remains our primary technology for information, today when we think about the impact of technology on our habits of mind, we think primarily of the computer. With so much exposure to all of our advancements for such a long period of time, it’s no wonder we are starting to see side effects. With our ability to instantly let everyone know how we’re feeling, our interactions are beginning to change. The pathways by which we transport information can often warp and distort the feelings
that we are trying to convey.

Seen more and more frequently in the world of online communication is the use of emojis. A plethora of emojis are available to us such as the fire emoji, the “one hunna”, and the classic moon face. These emojis are an attempt to recover some of the emotion that is lost while communicating through our devices, but it’s still far from the same. With text and other forms of messaging, there is no tone or body language being communicated. Professor Albert Mehrabian published a book called Silent Messages in which he states that only 7% of communication is verbal. He says that the other 93% is made up of 55% body language, and 38% tone. Depending on the form of communication we are using only a sliver of the 93% of communication actually gets through. Most forms of communication like texting, Facebook messaging, sliding into one’s DM’s,, commenting on someone’s Vine, smoke signals, or even leaving an angry review on someone’s Etsy profile all miss out on a lot of the vital components of communication.


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As Robots Begin Feeling, Humans May Struggle to Follow Suit