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The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  560 ratings  ·  101 reviews
An insightful exploration of what social media, AI, robot technology, and the digital world are doing to our relationships with each other and with ourselves.

There’s no doubt that technology has made it easier to communicate. It’s also easier to shut someone out when we are confronted with online discourse. Why bother to understand strangers—or even acquaintances—when you
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Published February 1st 2020 by Brilliance Audio
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Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where are we now

A good book. The thing that sums up the book for me the quote "what many of us consider science fiction, the technology for is or very soon will be a reality ".

What is highlighted in this book the state of empathy. How as humans we seem to be losing it, and machines are constantly being built to be more empathetic. However is machine empathy the same thing we feel as a connection to another person, or is it used to further divide/manipulate us by the corporations/people behind
Dee Arr
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
I felt a kindred spirit as I read through the Author’s Note and Introduction. It seemed that Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips held some of the same views as I did concerning the use of social media and the dwindling use of traditional social skills. As I continued to read, however, the mood and thoughts changed, affecting the way I viewed the book.

The author begins by examining how empathy can be used in different contexts and how using technology we could increase that empathy. As the book moves on,
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
If you have a particular interest in the behavior of those on social media, the future of society and AI and how it is changing how society communicates, this may be for you. However, I had to add this to my #dropped list. Got more than halfway through and saw that much of this book read like a dissertation a tired student needed to finish for a degree. I appreciate the work that went into this and there are some interesting theories. However, if you live on the internet like me but don’t really ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-non-fiction
Disappointing. The book tried to connect too many ideas (each with one or two experts and rehashing of previously published books or articles) with little critical analysis (with the exception of the last chapter.) I should have skipped to the bibliography and read the source material instead.
C.A. Gray
This was a really interesting and engaging book, spoiled by the heavy-handed political examples. The author used them to illustrate her points, but she only chose examples on one side of the political aisle. Makes sense--those are the ones she herself will resonate with. But in so doing, she inherently vilifies everyone who disagrees with her as "non-empathic." Pretty ironic for a book that is supposed to be all about empathy for those who disagree with you.
When I used my Prime First Reads option on this book, I thought I was picking an insightful, conversational piece about how social media and anonymity affect human empathy. I wanted personal insights into cancel culture, online bullying, and ways we might combat such things without having to stop using social media entirely or rely on hypothetical technology with often-horrific ethical implications. More than that, I expected the author to pick a side and stick to it, not provide a teeter-totter ...more
Richard Propes
"The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World" is more a weaving together of technology and empathy than an actual argument for empathy. It may be important to recognize this difference before reading the book as it may very well impact your enjoyment of and appreciation for the book.

I appreciated Phillips's journey through a variety of areas of technology and the current movement toward utilizing these technologies in a more humanized, empathetic way. For the most part,
Melissa Loucks
I read this for my 2020 Reading Challenge and the prompt was a book involving social media. I have no idea how I even managed to finish this book. It was also my Amazon prime first read for January.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF - this was just too damn dull.
This book became more about using virtual reality to build empathy rather than what I expected, which was a book about understanding and building empathy through the technologies we use every day. The 2016 election came up far too often, as did a politically-fueled Facebook exchange the author had with a former high school classmate. The writing was dull and I found my mind wandering, often having to read an entire page over once I’d realized I was not processing the information I was reading. I ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very data/statistic heavy
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about an extremely important topic - how is technology effecting our social relationships and feelings? Does this new technology make us more or less empathic? Is being able to post your thoughts and feelings online, so that anyone in the world can see them, as important to your social/emotional development as a one-to-one conversation with the person sitting next to you? Is a conversation with a robot with Artificial Intelligence programmed to emulate empathy helpful or is it ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A recent book by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips caught my attention because I’ve spent considerable amount of reflection in the last couple of years on precisely what the title touts, The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World. I even wrote a theological essay comparing modern surveillance capitalism (and governance) to the idea of divine omnipresence and omnipotence (with obvious qualifying aspects). So, I was very grateful to find this volume, although I read the book rather ...more
Joanna Fantozzi
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Don’t judge a book by the title on its cover! What I thought was going to be a thoughtful analysis of the psychological and sociological effects of the age of social media on our emotions turned out to be a list of empathy-based VR apps and a regurgitation of other peoples’ research. While I appreciated the author’s clear earnestness, the book was dull, did not say much and was not what I was looking for.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Read

I found this book to be a very good read. Technology is only going to get more integrated into our daily lives even more so than it already is, so it’s important to stay mindful of our ever increasing dependence on technology.
Scott Grusky
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A significant first step in an incredibly important conversation. The Future of Feeling helps lay the foundation for a framework to discuss how technological innovations should build and encourage empathy. Most of the early chapters merely summarize existing research and don't add original thinking to the topic or speculate much on the future, as it is a very slippery and complex area, but the last two chapters do raise some extremely important questions--questions that far too few people are ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and well-researched look at how current and future technology--from virtual reality and AI to robots and chatbots--may be able to help us empathize more with situations and people we might not otherwise naturally encounter.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
From the title and description, this book looked like it was going to talk about an issue I am concerned about. I stopped reading after only a few chapters - just too unnecessarily political for me.
Kirk Mahoney
Jan 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I got this free from Amazon, I hoped that it would be a good follow-up to the excellent book Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids, but The Future of Feeling repeatedly dashed that hope.

Here are quotations from The Future of Feeling and my reactions to them.
Maybe he would have apologized for using all caps in his message.

Seriously? The author was upset by someone using all caps?
For those of us who have lived much of our lives online, giving up on the possibility of
Victor Alan Reeves
As a Gen Xer, I found this book quite depressing. It's written by a whippersnapper, ie a Gen Yer, and it lists tech people's attempts to achieve empathy through VR, AI etc. Call me a Luddite, but I would imagine that empathy is best gained by interacting with actual human beings and not PCs, tablets, bots, laptops and mobile phones.

Best part of book: The analogy of current society's tech and social media use with past society's fervour for smoking.

Worst part of book: The rest.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Felt at times the writer made this about her and wrote with a bias to support her own preexisting bias. If she focused more on the tech developments and less on her own experiences and ideologies, it may have been an enjoyable and informative read.
Bari Dzomba
Jan 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stopped at 50%. This book is filled with generalizations and a very poor strategy of trying to link empathy with technology.
Kira Thebookbella
“It can feel weird to be empathizing with someone you profoundly disagree with,” Marron said when we met, “especially in an age when people say you’re just as bad as them if you empathize with them. But all my guests . . . I think they’re just good people trying to do the best they can. We all have these really different experiences, different things that drive us to be who we are. That’s largely what divides us, and how we present that version of ourselves online is where all this comes from.” ...more
Adam K
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Future of Feeling is an extended essay by journalist Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips where she asks important questions about our technology filled world and how it affects our feelings of empathy.

After some pariticularly affecting and negative interaction on a social media platform, Phillips finds herself on a journey to discover how empathy is being affected by technology and what people might be doing about it. Along the way, she presents a wide-variety of research as well as interviews with
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm VERY glad the author repeatedly stressed the line between understanding and ~knowing~, especially when she touched on subjects like incarceration, racism, the lives of refugees. All in all, a bit disjointed but interesting enough.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Very difficult to get into and maybe it’s over my head but I found the entire book boring and repetitive . Annoyed I wasted my time with Amazon’s free specials. Guess there is a reason it is free.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Maybe I had just misinterpreted the overview or perhaps it was the marketing but I had thought this book was going to be more focused on the implications of social media on empathy. In truth, it is more geared towards AI and VR, less exploratory and more just a stream of disjointed case studies. I still found this interesting, however a little disappointing.
Mikaela P
This book was just okay. The topic itself was very interesting but I felt like I was getting small scattered snippets of ideas rather than a cohesive narrative. Overall, I think too many subtopics were trying to be explored in a manner that was at times loosely linked. I would have preferred more thorough exploration into a few of these subtopics instead of the surface exploration that was presented
Arnulfo Perez
Misleading title

Some anecdotes and commentary on social trends, political correctness, and social media. A critique of Facebook and Google. Hyping of VR.
David Richardson
A lot of interesting information in this book, but I found that it was not a bit of fun to read.
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