Everyone has something called Emotional Intelligence (EI) which means one, as an individual, has the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and emphatically. This basically means that we, as humans, can recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions. With how much we use technology nowadays, we barely have face-to-face conversations. This cuts down our ability to recognize and respond accordingly to other emotions. Our EI is measured by our self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and our social skills.
Our self-awareness is “our ability to recognize ourselves as an individual and the ability to define yourself apart from the environment and others” (Huffington Post). With today’s technology always putting out images on how we should look and feel about ourselves, it only makes us hate ourselves more than we should. We see images shaming us on our interests and how we look. Granted, there are some sites that allow us to feel welcomed and loved for who we are—but can we ever truly escape the realm of judgement that we live in today?
Self-regulation is “our ability to stay focused and alert” (Huffington Post). This seems to be the most affected by technology. With how much children stay home on their phones, laptops, and even watching television, it makes perfect sense that we are not as focused and alert as we could be. Our attention span has diminished drastically over time, and us students can barely stay attuned to our classes and lessons. We need to find a way to grow our attention span back to where it should be. Our alertness has also gone down over time, with our lack of time playing games or building our agility. We are all just sitting around growing lazier.
The impact of technology has started a conversation about how technology affects motivation. It can either affect it in a positive or negative way. A positive way technology affects EI is by motivating you to get in shape or get healthier. Although, if we see others who are healthier or in better shape than we are, we get a sense of failure in ourselves and we tend to not try. In school, teachers have seen an increase in interest and motivation in projects when the students are encouraged to use their devices. There is less motivation during school because students don’t care or tend to care less during school because we don’t see the need to learn certain things so we ignore them and turn to our phones for entertainment.
Empathy is seen “as a trait that needs face-to-face conversation as well as non-verbal communication, such as human contact, verbal and non-verbal cues.” (Huffington Post) With the advancements of electrical communication, we can talk to others through texting, messaging, etc. These forms of communication do not allow us to interpret emotions accordingly, and with this defect, we cannot respond correctly–or how others would like us to–to the conversation. Another effect of our empathy “due to technology is desensitization of graphic, or shocking, images.” We have dealt with almost twenty different school shootings just in the beginning of 2018—we see it everywhere and we don’t know how to deal with it anymore. With how often we see images that are gruesome—or are supposed to be, we don’t feel the sense of horror we should. It seems that everyone has this grim curiosity about the images or videos. Granted, with how this year is going, students could become scared to go to school because they don’t know if their school will be next or not.
It seems that technology has a more negative effect on our emotions than it does on our intelligence, but that does not mean that we still cannot improve our intelligence with technology.