We talked about A LOT of interesting, technologically imposing topics during our in class discussions. It’s going to be difficult to narrow down a few of them that I’m particularly interested in. However, there were some gems that stood out as potential research topics for the inquiry project. Without further ado, here are of few of my favorites:

  1. Dating in Japan (aka the end of intimacy)
  2. Lack of empathy in school aged kids (aka WE’RE DOOMED)
  3. Screen Separation Anxiety (aka no, seriously…WE’RE DOOMED)

It’s no secret I love Japan. I love the culture and the creativity and the affinity for small spaces and the pastels and ahhh I just love it all so much. That being said, Japan’s got a seriously dark underbelly to it, and I’m not just talking about the Yakuza. Their culture is full of commercial intimacy. Walking down the street you have the opportunity to literally buy love, or at least something that looks like it. People will spend thousands of dollars just to spend five minutes with a fake boyfriend, one who they know they can never really be with. It’s fascinating to say the very least.

Another fascinating (and horrific) topic we discussed in class was the recent development of children who are not properly developing empathy. Reading this in Turkle’s book gave me a serious case of the heebie jeebies. To me, lack of empathy means psychopath. And a bunch of psycho children who can’t feel for others is VERY VERY SCARY. Now, hopefully it’s not as bad as it sounds and we’re not all doomed to live out some Children of The Corn scenario. But just in case, I’ll keep my wits about me when I’m around incredibly rude eleven year olds.

Speaking of keeping my wits about me, that’s actually proving harder and harder to do the more attached I become to my phone. Reading Reclaiming Conversations and discussing screen separation anxiety in class made me realize that I’m not alone when it comes to cell phone attachment. Turns out, we all have trouble shutting off the phone and walking away. We all get stuck in those hour long app-surfing sessions where all of a sudden you pick up your head and realize you can never get that time back. It’s good to know I’m not alone, but also pretty spooky knowing so many people are having their lives run by this little device.

I just noticed a singe thread connecting all three of these topics and it seems to me they’re all pretty depressing. I guess I’m sort of drawn to doomsday topics that make me feel like we’re living in the darkest timeline. Honestly, this makes sense given my other interests and the general state of the union right now. I kind of feel like most of the people in the world are feeling topsy turvy right now, like they’re not sure how we got to this screwed up spot in history. Who knows? Maybe this is the darkest timeline.