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Do You Suffer From False Emotions?

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posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 08:35 AM
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Today I was talking to a girlfriend about the movie Brooklyn. We both enjoyed the movie, even though I would liken it to...an immaculately rendered historical romance novel with better dialogue.

Anyways, she then said how she cried so many times while watching the movie. Meow, (hah, autocorrect, I'm going to leave it) I have a distinct lack of empathy with real humans, so my level of empathy with actors in a movie is close to nil; so, I asked her, "How do you feel about a movie manipulating your emotions like that? You unnecessarily bawled for over an hour, over nothing."

I wasn't judging my friend, I'm no better for my lack of emotions compared to her, or anyones, wealth of emotions, but as we were talking it really struck both of us how manipulated our emotions are by fictional TV, movies, music, books, etc. We don't need those emotions, they aren't telling us anything.

I grew up in a household with little exposure to media, she grew up on whatever she wanted to watch, within reason im sure. I wonder if this lent itself to our differing emotional states? Can anyone else add their experience?

I'm just musing here, and there have been many theories and statements about how media molds us and keeps us complacent...but what if we didn't have these emotions producers in our living rooms? Would we start a revolution? Be more even keeled? Who knows, really.

I mean...I'm still going to watch the X-Files, but you won't catch me crying if Mulder and Scully are reunited with their baby, you know?

Maybe ATS needs a 'Rambling' forum.

ETA...please don't feel the need to defend your emotions. It's okay to be emotional about things. In no way am I saying people should not feel emotions while watching television and enjoying media. I'm merely asking how you think fictionalized media affects you.

I don't feel emotionally moved by 99% of fictionalized media, that's okay. There are others I'm sure.
edit on 1-2-2016 by Atsbhct because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 08:48 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

That's how arts & entertainment has always been. Since forever. This isn't something that happened with the invention of television and the television program. A&E of all forms is designed to illicit emotional responses in its viewers even though they probably weren't experiencing those emotions before.

Ever hear a song done in a minor key? Ever notice how those songs tend to be sad or sing about hardship? That's because the minor key has been linked to sad emotions. Meanwhile, major keys tend to make you happier.

So just because you don't cry while watching a movie, doesn't mean that we are being manipulated to be complacent. It just means that you aren't as affected by art as your wife is. Or rather that form of art. I'm sure there are other arts that you are more moved by than television. Do you like paintings? What about music? Food? There are all sorts of arts out there that invoke emotional responses when you sample them.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 08:54 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I don't have a wife, but if I did...I'd A) Never let her out of the house with a wallet chain. Because if there's one thing I can't stand, it's lesbians with wallet chains. And B) My boyfriend would never get to watch sports. Happy wifes, happy lifes.

Other than that, like I said, I'm just musing. Most people know about minor chords, etc. Yes, I realize art is designed to illicit emotional response. What I'm wondering is who would we be if we only had our own emotions to deal with, free of created influence.
edit on 1-2-2016 by Atsbhct because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:00 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

I think there is a difference between an emotion being fake, and the instigating source of that emotion being fake.

Let's assume for a moment, that we are talking about something else. Let's assume that we are talking about car hacking. Cars these days are basically computers, draped over the traditional framework of a car. Depending on the model, you might have a computer between your accelerator pedal and the wheels of the car, or between the brake pedal and the pads, or between the gear stick and the gearbox, smoothing out all the little errors that people tend to make, shifting the weight of the car around on its axels to read the road in a way that human beings find difficult to replicate reliably.

And yet, with the right know how, a person with a laptop can drive your car for you, stop you in the middle of the road, or make your vehicle fly off at breakneck speed, all without your feet at the pedals, or hands at the wheel. In the case of a car hacking, the input is fake. The driver did not decide to go forward, a hacker did. But the physical response of the engine, the wheels, the exhaust and the movement of the car, are all entirely real. Fake input, real output. Fooling the car, into believing that its mechanical components are receiving instructions from the driver, when in fact they are receiving instructions from elsewhere.

The sort of drama and suspense that can cause a person to experience adrenal spikes, sadness, happiness, excitement or anticipation, can be falsified by a cast of cunning actors, and talented directors. But the emotions those scenes inspire are as real as the motion of a car which has been hacked out from under its driver. The tears are real, the smiles are real, "the feels are real".

What is interesting, is that you seem immune to it, and that probably says a great deal more about your neurophysiology than it does about that of your friend.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:00 AM
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Sounds like women are emotional
Assuming that men not so

I believe men have their emotions manipulated even worse than women, taught to deny them or medicate them away



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:01 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

We'd create art.


See?
edit on 1-2-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

I suppose I'm slightly baffled by the fact that our emotions are being hacked. This must cause our psyche some kind of distress.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman

Are you assuming I'm a man? I'm not.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Well, that's why I only watch movies that contain little tragedy, and much violence and just smiting of evil.

Simply put, certain parts of my brain have been entirely abraded by my life, and I am aware of my emotional existence. Therefore, rather than watch movies which access the damaged parts of my brain that need a rest, I watch movies that bring the chaos forth, because the areas of the brain which fire off when watching those movies, do not get nearly enough use in daily life, and will atrophy entirely if left to rot, unnourished.

Excitement, adrenaline, action. To little is as bad as too much.

Movies and television shows, for me, offer a chance to feel emotions not provided by ones regular life. If I was living a life where I was involved in crazy action all day, knife fights, gun battles, and explosions all over the place, I doubt I would watch movies of the sort I do. As it is, martial arts flicks and crazy action films keep my brain moving, while my abraded brain, the part which deals with sorrow, displeasure, angst, loneliness and such, get left a chance to heal.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:24 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

I understand that.

Personally, I'll try to stick with emotions caused by life in general. What would my love feel like if I was deluded into thinking love was The Notebook?



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct
You touched it when you said this:


I have a distinct lack of empathy with real humans, so my level of empathy with actors in a movie is close to nil;


Empathy is very real for the people who have it, so I wouldn't call it "false emotions". I actually think empathy is both a blessing and a curse, but something I cherish nonetheless.

And to clarify something, empathy and sympathy are 2 completely different things. Sympathy deals with pitying something or becoming extra considerate of something. Seeing a sad situation, feeling hurt or sad about it, and then wanting to do something about it is a symptom of sympathy. Humankind would've died off a long time ago without sympathy.

Empathy is far more complex because it deals with feeling the emotions of others. That's all emotions, not just sadness. From a spiritual perspective, I view empathy as one soul passing off some of its emotions into others. And from a logical perspective, I view empathy as a key component in both nonverbal communication and in a "herd mentality". I used to think empathy was strictly based on pheromones and nonverbal communication like facial expressions, voice changes, and the such. But I've been in enough situations where family, friends, and I have called each other over something dramatic, only to find out the others felt a similar emotional spike at the time. Things like "a mother's intuition" and "a woman's intuition" come to mind.

Empathy is when someone starts yelling at you and you start becoming immediately furious, because their emotions are flooding into you. If someone flirts with you and you immediately start feeling sexual or flirtatious without thinking about it (or without being attracted to them), that's empathy. It can happen indirectly too, like if you've ever felt "bloodlust" from someone, felt someone else's fear when they're bluffing, felt a "creepy or shady vibe" from someone, or felt someone's "aura". All of those deal with empathy, too.

So basically, I highly doubt you actually have zero empathy. Maybe your empathy is fine tuned for certain emotions. Because I highly doubt you've never "felt" when someone had bad intentions or when your friends moods have changed.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:36 AM
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edit on 2/1/2016 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: enlightenedservant

Thanks for your response. I understand the concepts of both empathy and sympathy. I did not claim to have zero empathy, but a distinct lack of empathy. I described it as empathy, because emotions that I am aware are being acted out in movies, television, books, etc. illicit no response from me.

I'm not very empathetic in life, in general. Would I pick up a crying baby or assist a fellow human being who was clearly in distress. Yes, without a doubt. More than likely, I would be pretty calm about it.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct


I grew up in a household with little exposure to media, she grew up on whatever she wanted to watch, within reason im sure. I wonder if this lent itself to our differing emotional states? Can anyone else add their experience?


During my teen years into adulthood, we didn't have a TV. When the old black and white died, my dad said we were better off without that "idiot box." But I still cannot and will not watch anything violent or gory -- especially if it involves kids! -- because it does affect me so deeply on an emotional and even physical level. That's why I haven't watched the video of the oregon protesters killing. My husband thinks that I just wasn't desensitized because I didn't have the chance to watch that stuff.

But they aren't false emotions. More like sympathy pains in a very real sense, bringing our past experiences into consciousness once again. We all know pain. We all know fear. We all know love. We all know heartbreak.

We need all kinds in this world. Those of us who are overly sensitive serve a purpose... as do those who can carry on under tremendous stress without falling apart. I'm really good at listening and sympathizing and helping people out, because I feel and care so much. Even for complete strangers. But there are some jobs in which that level of emotion would be an impediment and obstacle -- and we need those people who can act in those types of situations too.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:41 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

Oh my gosh, I'm not putting anyone down for being emotional, and I didn't sat it's wrong. I wondered who would we be without these emotions being illicited through media.

Just because I don't cry about acting, doesn't mean a have Aspergers. That's ridiculous.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

With respect, there is no such thing as a classic Aspie. My son has Aspergers, coupled with a healthy dose of ADHD. Having researched the condition, I can confirm that there are so many segments to the spectrum of associated disorders, that both an under development, or an overdevelopment of emotional response could be an indicator!



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: enlightenedservant

Thanks for your response. I understand the concepts of both empathy and sympathy. I did not claim to have zero empathy, but a distinct lack of empathy. I described it as empathy, because emotions that I am aware are being acted out in movies, television, books, etc. illicit no response from me.

I'm not very empathetic in life, in general. Would I pick up a crying baby or assist a fellow human being who was clearly in distress. Yes, without a doubt. More than likely, I would be pretty calm about it.

But that's the thing, empathy doesn't mean we have to get highly emotional about it. It's just feeling the emotion in the first place. When I'm out and feel a negative vibe, I'll glance around to see if someone is glaring at me or acting "suspiciously". That's also an application of empathy.

(note: How can we have a "distinct lack of" something while still having it? No worries though, this is just general chit chat. I don't mean it in a bad way; perhaps I misunderstood? )



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
I asked her, "How do you feel about a movie manipulating your emotions like that? You unnecessarily bawled for over an hour, over nothing."
I wasn't judging my friend,


You've made it clear that you said that to someone you are claiming was your friend...
How is saying that to a 'friend' not judging them ?



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

As a professional actor; I never even consider the emotions of the audience. It's a totally ego driven, selfish, exercise in fantasy.
Most writers on the other hand play with emotion like a potter works with clay.
edit on 1-2-2016 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:56 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Desensitization is just as fascinating as over sensitization caused by media. Thanks for sharing.

I agree, without sympathetic individuals who desire to care for others the world would be a sad place.

I once had a job as a caretaker at a care home for mostly schizophrenic individuals. I found my under sensitivity was paramount to lasting years in the position.




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