An Insightful Exploration Of What Social Media, AI, Robot Technology, And The Digital World Are Doing To Our Relationships With Each Other And With Ourselves There S No Doubt That Technology Has Made It Easier To Communicate It S Also Easier To Shut Someone Out When We Are Confronted With Online Discourse Why Bother To Understand Strangers Or Even Acquaintances When You Can Troll Them, Block Them, Or Just Click Unfriend And Never Look Back However Briefly Satisfying That Might Be, It S Also Potentially Eroding One Of Our Most Human Traits EmpathySo What Does The Future Look Like When Something So Vital To A Peaceful, Healthy, And Productive Society Is Fading Away The Cautionary, Yet Hopeful, Answer Is In This Champion For An Endangered EmotionIn The Future Of Feeling, Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips Shares Her Own Personal Stories As Well As Those Of Doctors, Entrepreneurs, Teachers, Journalists, And Scientists About Moving Innovation And Technology Forward Without Succumbing To Isolation This Book Is For Anyone Interested In How Our Brains Work, How They Re Subtly Being Rewired To Work Differently, And What That Ultimately Means For Us As Humans Where are we nowA good book The thing that sums up the book for me the quote what many of us consider science fiction, the technology for is or very soon will be a reality What is highlighted in this book the state of empathy How as humans we seem to be losing it, and machines are constantly being built to be empathetic However is machine empathy the same thing we feel as a connection to another person, or is it used to further divide manipulate us by the corporations people behind the technology The book gives cases and arguments on the good and bad parts of increasing technological world we live in This is not a conspiracy theory or witch hunt of a book It states what technology is available and in some case what is on the horizon, and how it could be used to enhance and enrich our lives or the to cause trouble such as manipulating our emotions against us or the control the way we think or see things For me it is an eye opener for much of the tech already being used and in some cases how it is being used A good current informative and thought provoking book Which fills me full of both hope and dread of what is the come in the future. I felt a kindred spirit as I read through the Author s Note and Introduction It seemed that Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips held some of the same views as I did concerning the use of social media and the dwindling use of traditional social skills As I continued to read, however, the mood and thoughts changed, affecting the way I viewed the book.The author begins by examining how empathy can be used in different contexts and how using technology we could increase that empathy As the book moves on, technology and its positive uses are explored, from generating a better atmosphere in the workplace to helping kids in school to assisting those afflicted with physical and mental issues While it is almost impossible to argue that these positive tools are not a boon to mankind, there are still issues that are not fully addressed in the book.The author acknowledges that AI is not always correct when evaluating what users mean by the words they type, and later in the book controversial methods used by schools are examined These methods are secretive, and students have no idea they are being examined for suicidal or depressive behaviors While anyone can easily see the potential of good results, until AI examination can be near or at 100% correct in evaluations, it is unfair to potentially label a child with a title that could follow him or her for life Presenting a VR interpretation of a story that reflects only one view IS proselytizing, whether the author wishes to acknowledge that or not In the author s own words, people remember feelings But those feelings can lead them to new perspectives, which is a sign of good journalism All the while, I kept reminding myself of something said by teenager Welela Solomon, whose statement was close to how I felt In discussions with my wife, I always maintain that AI is not bad, it can be a great thing but what matters is what we do with it Ms Solomon says Tech is a tool It does what we tell it to do As the book progressed toward the middle, the tech obsessed mantle was laid aside and there was discussion on achieving empathy by using the available tech Again, it is hard to argue against something that helps people I was concerned at times that the author would present items as fact without providing any references or footnotes For example, a statement that Research shows that overweight women and women of color receive some of the worst health care in general, as too many doctors insist that any malady must be related to their weight or believe that nonwhite patients require less pain relief While an Internet search did lead me to a study concerning obese women patients, searching for a study involving race or ethnicity turned up an article from physiciansweekly.com, which contained the following Because it wasn t controlled experiment, the study doesn t prove that race or ethnicity directly impacts how ER clinicians treat acute pain I am not disputing the merit of Ms Phillips statement, just that a few links or footnotes would have been appreciated, as they would have bolstered her points.I was encouraged to see a chapter on ethics, and the admission that the empathy impact depends largely on who s wearing the helmet as well one of my concerns, that much depends in large part on who s programming the content inside the helmet This is a great point, and determining who which naturally leads to what is programmed can be either a positive or a negative I hoped this chapter would have been longer, as this aspect could lead us either to a utopia or the specter of a clockwork orange As one group expressed, What if the tech that allowed us to share our feelings could also manipulate them In the court of ideas, Ms Phillips and I agree on some points and differ on others I recommend this book to everyone, no matter where you stand on the issue Ai will be increasingly involved in all our lives, and instructions on how to think and apply that to be better in our lives look to be added to our everyday lives While I wouldn t consider this book to be all inclusive, there are plenty of ideas and the book is very accessible which will allow anyone to begin understanding what the near future might bring Five stars. If you have a particular interest in the behavior of those on social media, the future of society and AI and how it is changing how society communicates, this may be for you However, I had to add this to my dropped list Got than halfway through and saw that much of this book read like a dissertation a tired student needed to finish for a degree I appreciate the work that went into this and there are some interesting theories However, if you live on the internet like me but don t really struggle with the pitfalls that come with being on social media, this may not be of particular interest Much of the book felt like an info dump and even of the book told me what I can easily deduce To be fair, the long term effects of the internet on anything is still up in the air, so it s difficult to write a book about social media that is not filled with theories Kudos to the author for tackling the subject, but this didn t work for me. Disappointing The book tried to connect too many ideas each with one or two experts and rehashing of previously published books or articles with little critical analysis with the exception of the last chapter I should have skipped to the bibliography and read the source material instead. This was a really interesting and engaging book, spoiled by the heavy handed political examples The author used them to illustrate her points, but she only chose examples on one side of the political aisle Makes sense those are the ones she herself will resonate with But in so doing, she inherently vilifies everyone who disagrees with her as non empathic Pretty ironic for a book that is supposed to be all about empathy for those who disagree with you. When I used my Prime First Reads option on this book, I thought I was picking an insightful, conversational piece about how social media and anonymity affect human empathy I wanted personal insights into cancel culture, online bullying, and ways we might combat such things without having to stop using social media entirely or rely on hypothetical technology with often horrific ethical implications More than that, I expected the author to pick a side and stick to it, not provide a teeter totter of conflicting studies and professional opinions from varied sources And to exercise the empathy she preaches.Unfortunately, the most interesting and attractive thing about this book is its cover.The writing is dry and boring often, I found myself reading without absorbing because the words on the page were meaningless and repetitive filler Some of the study findings and opinions are grossly generalized and therefore highly inaccurate of the human condition For example, this book makes the claim that empathetic people are happier, self aware, self motivated, and optimistic and cope better with stress, assert themselves when it is required, and are comfortable expressing their feelings That s a dangerously specific claim, and completely inaccurate of myself and everyone else I know with high levels of empathy But hey, nice to know we re meaningless and being labelled as unempathetic just because we re insecure or introverted This isn t the only instance of the author or those she cites being decidedly thoughtless, cruel, or lacking in empathy while trying to preach the importance of being empathetic, either.Mark Zuckerberg is accused of lacking empathy simply because he once stood for freedom of speech by my understanding, he s keen on censoring Facebook these days His willingness to show empathy for the rights of even the people he despises or disagrees with is portrayed as a sign he lacks empathy for victims of his platform How a person can be victimized by a website they have full control to block people on or stop logging into is anyone s guess Likewise, at one point it s directly implied that a man whose facial recognition AI lacked empathy simply because he let it learn via the internet and as a result it had a higher concentration of popular and white characters people in the database without including Uhura from Star Trek who is a black woman The discovery of this oversight is referred to as calling him out one of the very mentalities indicative of dehumanizing instead of empathizing with others online Shortly after, it s also basically stated that any accidental oversight in an AI which relates to social justice issues is caused by a lack of empathy or the developers not being good enough people Yikes This is the exact opposite of the we need to treat each other better and give the benefit of the doubt when we re upset moral I expected from the book based on its premise The 2016 election and this one time a guy on Facebook was rude to her are also mentioned far than they should be and most of the interesting information is provided in brief glimpses or hindered by annoying filler about this, that, and the other study often including repetition of things already covered For the political stuff, I wouldn t mind if it were mentioned a few times, but it s frequent enough to make several chapters feel like a collection of outdated, boring political tech articles than part of a recently published book Yes, we get it, people were little curses to each other than ever on social media in 2016 No, it s not when trolling and doxxing and other such practices began and, no, it hasn t gotten any better since then How are we supposed to look to the future when so firmly focused on the past When the focus isn t so blatantly political or biased, however, there are some interesting tidbits The author shares tales about robot companions, AI projects, VR methods used to aid everyone from veterans to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the interesting psychological nature behind bonding with Siri and Alexa I want to make sure I credit her for that, because these things are genuinely fascinating The trouble is these are fleeting moments between boring filler and, quite often, some of the most potentially interesting bits are only given a cursory mention before diving into annoying statistics I want of the cool psychological explanations and less of the in this article, in that study, during the one interview bits seriously, the bibliography stretches from 86% to 100% in the kindle version Overall, this book has no sense of direction it meanders in spirals, or less and suffers from severe overload of statistical data It feels at times like a fence sitter trying to figure out where they stand or a student with no strong opinion grudgingly trudging through an assigned paper when they d rather be doing something they actually care about instead That clearly isn t the case, given how much love the author seems to hold for this project when naming a chatbot pal after the then in progress book and reaching out to contact all the people she encountered in person, so I m not entirely sure what went wrong or where I just know that I don t feel the passion I, instead, feel dull and boring technical writing.Well, somewhat technical Despite the dry and semi professional tone, the author frequently and annoyingly refers to herself as a millennial despite being at the oldest end of that spectrum and far from what the generation is normally used to describe, uses annoying made up words like phubbing snubbing someone to pay attention to a phone instead and iGen Generation Z , and relies too strongly on the meaning closer to compassion and sympathy when referring to empathy It feels at times like reading a Hello, fellow kids meme come to life or watching someone struggle to connect unrelated things by stretching the definition of their supposed common thread empathy until they sort of vaguely seem similar.I had such high hopes, but ultimately this book left me feeling disappointed and underwhelmed I m glad I read it, for the few intriguing pieces and small selection of new knowledge I ve gained, but also I m mentally exhausted after trudging through such densely uninteresting writing. The Future of Feeling Building Empathy in a Tech Obsessed World is a weaving together of technology and empathy than an actual argument for empathy It may be important to recognize this difference before reading the book as it may very well impact your enjoyment of and appreciation for the book I appreciated Phillips s journey through a variety of areas of technology and the current movement toward utilizing these technologies in a humanized, empathetic way For the most part, these technologies and the experiments cited by Phillips are in their early stages and it s unclear where this is all going It will be interesting to revisit this book a few years from now Phillips uses an awful lot of personal narrative in the book, an approach that was hit and miss for me as so much of the book is intellect based that it almost felt like we d hit editorializing anytime she would insert her own personal experiences While I m not someone who works in a tech field, I also found much of the material here not particularly groundbreaking I d heard of quite a bit of this and at times found myself almost skimming pages rather than deeply reading them For those with a particular interest in this subject, I think an appreciation of this book is likely However, as someone who received the Kindle version as a FirstRead it s a little outside the realm of what I d usually pick up but I appreciated the material and the food for thought provided by Phillips. I read this for my 2020 Reading Challenge and the prompt was a book involving social media I have no idea how I even managed to finish this book It was also my prime first read for January. DNF this was just too damn dull. This book became about using virtual reality to build empathy rather than what I expected, which was a book about understanding and building empathy through the technologies we use every day The 2016 election came up far too often, as did a politically fueled Facebook exchange the author had with a former high school classmate The writing was dull and I found my mind wandering, often having to read an entire page over once I d realized I was not processing the information I was reading I m giving up on this one.