Reacting from the heart in the digital realm

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We’ve made it easier to bypass feeling by creating fingertip communication. Smartphones these days have applications for going straight from speech to text.

It isn’t hugely reliable but it makes for a very different kind of digital experience.


Try this : Reacting from the heart

When you next receive a text which prompts some emotional reaction in you, read it carefully and then listen for what your heart is saying.

Search within for how you feel about the content of that text.

Hold the other person in mind and reach out for what you believe is in his or her heart.

Then form a reply.

You can then dictate it into the phone (if you have the right application), say it aloud or voice it in your head before you type and send.

You might find that the slower response is less cold, more eloquent and more ‘you’.


Fingertip connection. Is it really any different from speaking with our own lips and drawing upon the rhythm of breath? At one level, of course it is different.

It is physically different. But is anything really lost, and is anything new gained when we connect digitally?

“Over the last ten years I have examined my own texts and the texts sent by others, from friends, family, colleagues. I’ve also asked a huge number of people from different age groups, backgrounds and walks of life, how they experience texting. Without a doubt, they say, there’s the benefit of immediacy. Conversations can take place across vast distances at little or no cost. We can share thoughts and feelings via words, emotional icons, images and, more recently, decent quality video (with holograms soon to come).

“Many people have told me that a more confident self is released in them when they send a text or message via social media. It is a new art form that we have only begun to explore. Some texters, status updaters, tweeters and micro-bloggers rival Oscar Wilde with their wit. Well, surprise, surprise, there’s a dark side to that.

“The heavy breathing anonymous phone caller also gets a kind of confidence from hiding behind non-physical presence. We fire off texts more readily because they bypass the complicated thoughts and feelings which show on our faces. A smiley can be a simple way of communicating, but it can also be a mask. Hiding behind masks can be delightful at a masquerade, but it makes for a very different day to day world.” Paul Levy, Digital Inferno

You can find this and many other practical tips and activities in Digital Inferno

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Digital Inferno by Paul Levy

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