It all began, three weeks ago, when one of 12 M’s students decided to show her classmates a video she felt represented a burning issue in our lives.A day or so later, when we started bouncing ideas off each other for the topic of our final special assembly, we came back to that video – the “Look Up” video, and its theme, of the negative effects of technology on emotions and relationships. However, a lot of us felt jittery about taking up such a sensitive topic, as presentations related to it tended to get preachy.
So, we all decided to broaden our perspectives, and put a scientific twist on it (we are a science batch after all). We decided to analyse the scientific and psychometric causes behind common emotions, and how these emotions get influenced by the relentless pace of modern life.
In order to put our theories on the technology v/s emotions debate to the test,we decided to conduct a psychometric experiment. We asked ten students of both the 11th and 12th grades to stay back for half an hour after school, to help us out with our assembly. They neither knew each other, nor did they have a clue about the exact kind of help they were providing us. We then segregated them into two groups, took away the phones of one group, and told the other group that they were free to use their smartphones. As they waited for twenty minutes for someone from our class to come and brief them on what we needed them to do, little did they realise that they were being taped the whole time, with a hidden camera. We observed some very interesting behaviour in both the groups, which sometimes followed our theories on what would happen, and sometimes surprised us.
When we got down to the actual research of the science behind various emotions, we were startled by some of the facts. For example – did you know that scientists have already isolated the molecule responsible for causing stress? Or that there is a kind of phobia called ‘Ephebiphobia’, the fear of teenagers?
Some psychology students of the class decided to present the results of a relevant test they had conducted as part of their coursework, an emotional adjustment questionnaire (i.e. a test of the extent to which a person can maintain his balance and calmness when faced with difficult or provocative situations). They found, that a shocking 84% of respondents to the questionnaire had unsatisfactory emotional and social adjustment.A day before the assembly, we started scripting the presentation. We decided to keep the speeches to a bare minimum, and instead tried to focus on presenting our findings, and on having a fruitful discussion.
We tried to frame our discussion questions in a manner that would make our audience tell us what they thought caused this catastrophic breakdown in modern-day emotions and relationships. Simultaneously, we conducted discussions in each of the grade 11 classrooms. We found that although the 11th grade was slow to warm up to the discussion, they confirmed our suspicions and told us that our relationships are indeed changing drastically. As one student said, our emotions are becoming our e-motions.
Ultimately, the assembly turned out to be a great experience for everyone involved – including the presenters. People who would never have spoken in front of an audience started coming forth with opinions. The entire class participated in the preparations and final presentations. By addressing this issue, we believe that all of us have had revelations about the true nature of human emotions. Our final special assembly was truly a unique experience,and we bid it an e-motional farewell.