How to Increase Empathy in the Digital Era
Thrive Global, Amy Blankson
August 20, 2018
In the last five years, cyber-bullying has seen a drastic increase, leaving parents, teachers, and communities concerned. Online communication has created a space for people to openly speak their minds, which means they can vent anonymously with little fear of repercussion. Without having to see another human’s emotional feedback loop, some individuals feel emboldened to speak hatefully, create fear and spread mistrust. More than ever, we need to cultivate empathy as a society.
- Humans of New York: This app showcases a catalog of photos along with the stories behind New York City inhabitants with the intent of raising a greater sense of empathy.
- Soul Pancake: Watch inspiring, hilarious videos where people talk about stuff that really matters, such as spirituality, religion, death, love, life’s purpose and creativity.
- Seize Your Moments: Peruse 10,000 beautiful “moments” collected from strangers by Dutch activist and world traveler Janne Willems, who uses art to inspire a global movement of trust, kindness, and happiness.
- The Good Cards: This real-life game combined with an app was created to inspire people to spread happiness, one act of kindness at a time.
- BrainPOP: Explore a suite of videos, lessons, and games—all focused on teaching digital etiquette online.
- Random App of Kindness (RAKi): This app was designed to increase empathy in teens using scientifically backed, interactive games.
- Common Sense Media: Browse an entire search engine of curated apps and games designed to teach empathy, divided into age-specific categories.
Apps and websites such as these remind us that technology can be a magnifier, a force for positive change—but only if we choose to make that happen. The same technology that is used for bullying can now be used to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. For all the distractions, dangers and frustrations that current technologies bring into our lives, they can also be used for our highest purposes. This is the future of happiness, and it’s up to us to create it.