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What Is Emotional Canned Food? - Self-development
What Is Emotional Canned Food? - Self-development

Video: What Is Emotional Canned Food? - Self-development

Video: What Is Emotional Canned Food? - Self-development
Video: Developing Emotional Intelligence 2023, March

Scene from life: a bus full of people, including a young mother with a son of about five years old. The woman buried herself in the phone, and the boy, screaming, runs around the cabin, pushing the passengers. He then laughs out loud, then falls into hysterics, demanding something from his mother, then he cries inconsolably when she ignores his requests

Bad performance

In response to the remark of one of the passengers, the woman answers in a firm voice: “So what's wrong with that? Let him express his emotions as he wants! This is called natural parenting. You live in the Stone Age, you don't understand anything about children, leave me alone from my child!"

Another passenger quite calmly and politely says that this is still a public place and it would be good to take into account the interests of others. Perhaps it would be more comfortable for both the child and the passengers if the mother distracted her son with something; you can always find something more interesting and quieter than running and screaming. This remark finally infuriates the parent, and she enters into an active squabble with other passengers. She is not at all embarrassed by the presence of her own child, she screams, “gets personal” and pours out foul words. In general, he behaves extremely emotionally and "naturally".

Let's add one more touch to this: the woman takes pictures of everything that happens on her mobile phone. At the same time, he threatens his interlocutors: “I will post it on all social networks! Let everyone see what freaks are! " It seems that she really does not see herself from the outside and does not understand that in this situation it is she who demonstrates the most ugly behavior, and not her interlocutors.

The continuation of this story is unknown to me, but I admit that the video with this episode turned out to be on social networks (there are such "good" in bulk). And I have no doubt that this video has gained a significant number of views and likes - the public loves scandals.

Any internet marketer would clarify that the public loves not only scandals, but any “emotionally loaded” content. Moreover, the hotter the emotion, the more popular the message (and the people involved) will be. Even the ancient Romans knew that the crowd was demanding "bread and circuses", but today everything has become much more complicated. First, modern society is an abundance of experiences; and secondly, modern society is a society of the spectacle.

An unnecessary inheritance?

The Experience Abundance Society is creating an increasingly paradoxical reality, and here's why: Human emotions are inherently a biological function of survival. When a saber-toothed tiger was chasing a primitive man, he experienced genuine horror. Today, saber-toothed tigers have died out, and indeed there are very few stimuli left that can give us genuine and powerful emotional experiences at an unconditional biological level.

Among modern studies of emotions, there is a point of view according to which emotions are an atavism, a gradually dying out relic of our primitive past. Nevertheless, we cannot completely abandon emotions, because it is they that give brightness and variety to our conscious life.

People are trying to return this "emotional brightness of life" on their own - and the more prosperous society they live, the greater the craving for "extreme". Only by climbing somewhere on Everest, having been on the verge of life and death, it is possible to feel the same "real emotions" as our primitive ancestors

Modern society has created a whole industry for the production of surrogate emotions. Strictly speaking, all works of art are substitutes for living experiences, a kind of "emotional canned food". The task of these "canned foods" is to satisfy emotional hunger, including for the strongest experiences.

In the Middle Ages, saber-toothed tigers were no longer there, but public executions were a favorite folk show. When blood was shed, few remained indifferent. Today, blood is no longer shed, but any director of a television talk show knows that if the participants did not quarrel and rush at each other with their fists (that is, they did not bleed each other at least virtually), then the show is unlikely to be popular.

But what is the paradox here? The paradox is that the more accessible even the most acute emotional experiences become, the faster we get used to them and the more we become preoccupied with the search for new experiences. If earlier climbing Mount Everest was possible only for a few professional climbers, today it is a “tourist product” available to everyone who has enough money to buy it. Back in the middle to the end of the twentieth century, the journalistic norm was “no blood on the air”; and today, the demonstration of death and violence is acceptable not only in criminal programs, but also in regular news broadcasts.

The consequence of an overabundance of emotions (imposed on us by the media and the entertainment industry) is the so-called "emotional obesity." Our psyche, at some point, imperceptibly goes into a mode of reduced reactivity. Any emotions are dulled; the line between "real" and "fake" experiences is erased.

As Sergei Shnurov accurately noted in one of his songs at one time, “Newspapers and magazines print mura - the dolphin will live, and I will die”. We are ready, with tears in our eyes, to join some virtual action to save another dolphin, but at the same time we are equally ready to make a scandal in public transport in the presence of our own child.

The term "society of the spectacle" was proposed by the French philosopher Guy Debord. This term is complex, but one of its facets is formulated as follows: "a performance is any relationship mediated by images."

The philosopher Erich Fromm argued that one of the central conflicts of modern Western civilization is the conflict between "being" and "appearing." The Society of the Spectacle makes a radical choice in favor of “appearing”. No one cares what you have inside, but what matters is how you look and what you demonstrate in public, how good an "actor" you are and how cool you have pumped up your "personal image"

A good actor is one who is always in sight (now this is easy thanks to social networks), and one who is able to evoke strong emotions in the audience can even reach out to an audience that is satiated with emotional surrogates. Hence the “all for show” lifestyle, and the fashion for expressiveness that goes beyond any rules and norms. Because for the "society of the spectacle" it is better to be a megapopular and recognizable freak than an unknown "ordinary person".

Freedom or stupidity?

If we return to the situation described at the beginning of the article, then many will probably say that the situation is ambiguous. There will also be supporters of the young mother ("Why did they go to her and her child with unsolicited advice? They were natural with the boy, they just reacted emotionally! There was no need to provoke!") And her opponents ("These are not emotions, but disrespect and licentiousness! "). The truth is that modern man does not have "natural emotions". Our emotions are a product of socialization. They are formed under the influence of socio-cultural megatrends (two of them - the abundance of impressions and the society of the performance - are described above), education and self-education.

Yes, today there is a fashion for freedom of expression - including public emotionality, demonstrative expressiveness. But this is just a fashion that does not have to be followed. If we are talking about a personally mature person, then his emotionality is the result of his self-education and conscious choice.

How appropriate is it to “make a scene” on public transport or “break a comedy” on social media? The answer to this question depends on the level of development of social intelligence; from understanding who I am, what social situation I am in, what are my interests and the interests of the participants in the interaction, what I want to achieve, what outcomes are most likely, etc.

How emotional can / want to be in this situation? What emotion would be most appropriate in this situation? What is the best way to express it? Will my expression help me achieve my goal? How will others react to my emotion / expression? The answer to these questions depends on the level of development of emotional intelligence.

Conclusion: spontaneous emotionality can significantly complicate our life in various social situations and damage our reputation, even if it seems to us that we "just behaved naturally." If emotionality is comprehended, passed through the filters of social and emotional intelligence, it becomes our friend and helper

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