Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Not a toy

I was thinking of taking psychology in college in 1970 after we saw a movie in India. The name of the movie was  "Khilona" meaning "Toy". The theme was kind of unrealistic in the sense that a doctor suggests that a young man needs a life partner to treat  flashbacks of his dying girl friend. My parents talked me out of taking psychology because I had come quite far with Economics as my major and was almost done with my education. Later on in life I learned different aspects of human mind through experiences of people around me. A very young coworker of mine saved her teenage brother-in-law from attempted suicide and became his sister/best friend, just by listening to him and giving support that he could not get from his own parents. I have always listened to people who need to talk and vent so they don't feel alone. I always wonder what makes people sad and how I can help.

I am in New York and it is very expensive to travel abroad to understand different groups of people and to figure out how many of them are actually sad and suffering from loneliness. All I know is that a lot of people in America are lonely and sad. We always hear the words "mentally unstable"as part of news when it comes to school shootings or even random killings. So does it make sense to play around with the minds of young and old people alike by experimenting on social media network and manipulating human emotions? Do the people involved realize that there are some people whose PTSD and or Anxiety/Depression can be effected by these experiments and manipulations? Will the people involved be accountable or responsible if even one human being loses his or her life as a result of this experiment? Experiments and studies are done in controlled environments with supervision by professionals and with the consent of the participants. They should not be done as a ploy to increase visits on social media sites.

28 comments:

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Being alone for me doesn't equate to loneliness (which is what I think most people feel). I enjoy spending a lot of time by myself. But it is used to engage my mind with books and movies and to take walks and to basically increase my knowledge of the world. But there are the times too when I wish I had a partner to share my life with so I can understand those who suffer from loneliness and isolation. You are a wonderful person, Munir, to extend such a helping hand to people in need.

Launna said...

I think people need to be heard, I listen to others as I would want to be listened to as well...

I agree experimenting with someones emotions is not a good idea... we need to be more careful with someones feelings...

It's good to see you back posting Munir ♡

Geo. said...

Excellent and timely post, Munir. I recognize Facebook's recent experiment in which it manipulated information posted on 689,000 users' home pages and found it could make people feel more positive or negative through a process of "emotional contagion." I'm reminded of futurist, Jerome Agel's words 35 years ago: "The future will be full of amazing things that will make us crazy." There is a serious ethical deficiency in such activity. It is indeed irresponsible and I have yet again decided against joining Facebook.

TexWisGirl said...

well said. i read that about facebook, yesterday. rather reckless of them and quite invasive.

Beth said...

An excellent post!!

klahanie said...

Dear Munir,

A superbly thoughtful post. We do not need to compound the problems over those who need help, not experiments.

"Farcebook", should be very ashamed!

Gary

Donna Hole said...

Its so hard to know what to study these days. So much heart ache and tragedy.

I'm a childrens services social worker, and have studies psychology, child development, human relationships and such for a long time. And still, I am surprised by human depravity.

There is good and bad in the world, and you have to look hard to find postings/publicity on both extremes. I hope you keep your faith in people, and understand the best deeds go unpublished because they are from the heart.

yaya said...

My granddaughter is taking psychology and hopes to be a social worker. It takes a special person to try and help troubled minds. I can tell you would have been really good. I don't do facebook except to look at family pics from my kids. Blogging is time consuming enough! You always have such thoughtful posts. Thanks for that!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Munir,
Probably you and I can deal with different information coming our way but for a lot of people it just means the trigger to disaster...
So much violence is being shown in movies, that too triggers some wrong thoughts for several people.
It is no longer the safe family environment that young people are growing up into. Sadly in a way. Educationally, social media can be great, if the individual is able to sort the good from the bad. But not everyone has that discipline.
Sending you good wishes for summer, for your health and may you have a very blessed 4th of July.
Hugs,
Mariette

Lisa said...

Hello Munir, you are kind and sensitive to your surrounding and I enjoyed my each visit and learned too. Ramadhan Mubarak Munir.

Granny Annie said...

I am truly pondering this. I have my blog and I am on Facebook. The complexion of both has greatly changed from active with grandchildren to caregiving spouse to widow and active community senior citizen. The most recent circumstances pulled by a recurring undertone of sadness. Why am I in these places? You tell me. To meet interesting and nice folks like you:)

Life happens said...

People are like puzzles to me. Figuring out why they do what they do and so on is fascinating. I've always been interested in the human mind.

Elephant's Child said...

I am agreeing with you about 1000%. Conservatively speaking. I volunteer on a crisis line here in Australia and know how many people are hurting, lonely, fragile. Tinkering with their minds is an obscenity.

Sarah said...

Playing with people's emotional well being to prove a point or as an experiment is abhorrent, anyone condoning or encouraging this should be ashamed.

It's an unfortunate fact that sometimes the people most in need can be drawn to these things in search of help.

Sadly not everyone is as genuine and caring as you.

Lexa Cain said...

I don't really know what you mean by psychological experiments on FB. I do know that in the US, professional doctors have been taking advantage of the poor and uneducated for many years and doing unethical experimentation. See the Tuskeegee syphilis experiment, and many others here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

mamasmercantile said...

Very thought provoking post, certainly food for thought. Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind comment.

Dr. J said...

This is interesting! I loved taking psychology in college! Psychiatry in med school was my favorite area, though not exciting enough to be my field of destiny.

I've heard that we were given loneliness so we would not always choose to be alone.

Denise Covey said...

Some sobering questions. Cyber bullying through facebook has become a huge problem.

DMS said...

What an interesting post. After hearing what happened on fb- it made me think about how scary it is that sites we use without thinking can actually manipulate us and change people's moods (although that is just a guess- as I didn't hear the results of what they did).
~Jess

Anita said...

Do you feel that you would have been more content if you'd have been a psychologist? I've met others who followed the path of what their parents advised. I was a computer programmer, but had thoughts of teaching. I followed the path of much more money. :) The mind has also been fascinating to me. Maybe in our next lives. :) Until then, you are fulfilling a purpose by caring and writing about the psychological needs of others.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir ... I'm quite late - sorry - you've written some very thought provoking ideas here ... and thank goodness people can get help now-a-days ... but still there are people who just take advantage of us - without us realising ...

Excellent to read .. cheers Hilary

DWei said...

See, the problem is that the Facebook experiment was completely unethical because it was done without the consent of the individuals.

Properly done, I'd have no problem with it, but this "experiment" was done without ethics approval or any form of control. Very distasteful.

Inger said...

I am so glad I don't do Facebook. I am late in visiting, but so glad you stopped by. I am slowly catching up with everyone. I have always liked to be alone, but it is such a good feeling to have my husband, someone to trust, someone who always has my b back,

Dee said...

Dear Munir, I so agree with you. I find myself astounded sometimes when i see comments left on the postings of a young blogger I know. People really say unacceptable things that destroy one's confidence instead of building it up. The comments seem so mean. And we see that on the daily talk shows also. More and more I think that technology, wonderful in its way, is leading to isolation among so many. Thank you for posting this provocative musing. Peace.

Gossip_Grl said...

Very good post on the subject and although I do have a Facebook I would take their word on nothing. They care only about the money they generate from all of those unwanted spam ads. They manipulate users newsfeeds and show the spam before other postings. I really would like to get rid of mine, but through the years Facebook is how I keep in touch with family that live in other states. We all use Facebook. :/

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Munir,
Thank you for your visit and comment.
Wishing you a very happy Labor Day Weekend.
Hugs and warm wishes,
Mariette

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm not sure what the Facebook experiment you are talking about. Depression is a hard disease. You have recognize you have it and accept it, even when you are feeling fine. Taking medicine, having good friends and living an active lifestyle are good ways to combat crashing.

Life happens said...

It's sad that so many people are so sad all the time. However I think in today's world it is more common to feel alone in our rush rush rush society. Maybe we all need to just slow down and appreciate life around us.