Depth Psychology and the Digital Age
Google “the digital age” and you’ll discover it is rather broadly defined as “the present time”—when most information is available in digital form, as compared to the era before the rise of computers in the 1970s. Now, I know what you’re thinking—and I don’t need an FMRi machine, Google Glass, or even a web browser to predict it: If you’re familiar with depth psychology, you may well be of the mind that depth psychology and the digital age go together about as well as oil and water.
Depth psychology is the study of the soul, first and foremost associated with uncovering and exploring the unconscious. The Greek word psyche means “butterfly,” as one of the key founders of depth psychology, C. G. Jung, pointed out in Modern Man in Search of Soul .‘The word is also linked to the Greek aiolos , meaning “mobile, colored, or iridescent,” and to the Greek anemos , meaning “wind” or “breath,” as well as “soul” and “spirit”—all concepts that appear distinctly unrelated to technology.
Your Google search for “the digital age” will return a multitude of opinions on the pros and cons, with some contending the digital age is “good” because browsing the Internet stimulates our minds, and video games are teaching us new skills.
However, if you entertain the notion that there are a multitude of detrimental side effects and disorders initiated by the digital age—illustrated by creative new terms such as “cyberchondriacs” (those who self-diagnose medical symptoms online), and “Facebook Addiction Disorder,” 2—and if you experience moderate concern, as many of us do, that as a digital culture we are becoming hooked on the web; that we are ruder, less empathetic and we procrastinate more; that our memory is deteriorating; and that we are developing increased anxiety about “missing out” because of the rash of information on social media—you might quickly see the benefit of looking at the digital age from a depth psychological perspective to begin to understand the archetypal aspects at work in our individual and collective lives.
We must question, then, whether this has pushed us in great part toward an increasing loss of soul and a dearth of meaning, a disconnect that may be illustrated by the sheer amount of screen time logged by both adults and children today as they interact with gadgets and machines at the expense of quality time spent connecting with our fellow human beings and with nature.
Long before the mass technological advances of the last several decades, Jung observed the price we pay for adopting “gadgets” that seem beneficial on the surface, but which may not live up to their promise from a more soulful standpoint, noting that in the long run they are “dubious” and that they only accelerate the pace at which we live our lives while leaving us with “less time than ever before.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Going Somewhere: Implications of Electronically Inflated Psychological Acceleration
- Jung and the Posthumans
- Allegory of the E-Cave
- Online Social Networking: The Digital Face of Relational Psychodynamics
- Terminal Talk: Reflections on Thinking and Saying in the Digital World
- Electronic Dance Music and the Indomitable Imagination
- Paintbrush Ramblings
- Virtual Hyperrealities: Redefining the Real World for the Hungry Imagination Through Digital Media
- Be the Story, Change the Story: Engaging Gender-based Archetypes in Online Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom
- A Jungian Alice in Social Media Land: Some Reflections on Solastalgia, Kinship Libido, and Tribes Formed on Facebook
- Interplay: Bridging Dynamic Systems through Video Game Narrative
- Mythic Ringtones: Hello Hermes! We’ve Come to Talk with You Again
- Reincarnative Gaming: The Hard Death and The Intransient Self
- The Great Internet Daydream Machine
- Finding the Connection: Depth Psychology and Social Media
- Through the Looking Glass: Reflections and Adventures in Social Media
- Madness and the Map
- Century of the Selfie: Culture and Context in the Era of Electronic Waste
- The Universe is Only This Big
- Elevator Football
Size: 1.39 mb
Depth Psychology and the Digital Age by Edited by Bonnie Bright pdf