Current State of Solidarity Affairs

One unfortunate consequence of the increasing sophistication and ubiquity of technology has been the general reduction of empathy and solidarity in everyday life. Due in part to the addictive and distracting effect of mobile computing, the average individual disconnects from his or her immediate environment and the people within it in favor of communication with a small network of nonadjacent friends, either through phone, text, chat, social media platforms, or e-mail. They are not necessarily engaged with the space and people around them and do not actively pay attention to, empathize with, or feel solidarity with others in the immediate vicinity [see empathic fragmentation, Nass].

In order to reverse the trend of empathic fragmentation that leads to lower levels of solidarity, the neural mechanisms behind solidarity development must be reviewed and methods for augmenting solidarity must be designed and researched based on those functions. This would then allow us to introduce a new level of social awareness into our technological dynamic by way of social media to affect both the level of individual autonomy and feelings of embeddedness felt by an individual toward a larger web of social relations.

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