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Social Dysphoria Meter

If it feels bad man, dysphoria!
  [vote for,

Dysphoria is a psychology term that means something like bad feeling, however it is medicalized to only identify deviant forms. This extreme end of it includes things like dysphoric mania, and towards the unmedicalized normal end are probably things like boredom, loneliness, even hunger and thirst. Either way it feels bad, man.

Towards the normal end dysphorias are quickly neutralized, or 'eutralized' to coin a term. Normal social activities are closely related to the satisfaction of common dysphorias. Towards the medicalized deviant end of dysphoria there is typically a loss of interest in these activities, and activities become bizarre to the social. Typically this is where an attempt is made to bring indivduals back into rational alignment.

Instead of letting things get to that point of possibly no return, the Social Dysphoria Meter should be made commonplace. It is a handheld mobile device, or a personal computer, that surveils the positive relationship between affection and action; feeling is usually expressed through action. Usage is compared to normal usages. Abuse of the device is also recorded. Was the usage out of boredom? Was the usage out of loneliness? These can be determined by the application used. Has the user lost interest in socializing? The mobile device will know.

Has the user become paranoid of the device? There's nothing to fear, the device is your friend. You don't have any friends? We're your friends, the device is here to help you. Everyone else has one, why don't you want one? Do you despise the mass of people? Do you hate industrial goods? Please come with us, we'll take you to where you can be alone with others like yourself.

rcarty, Sep 04 2012


       Saw a documentary once of overweight children watching television all day. It's eye-opening to see how atrophied the experience of watching television is, even if it's not yourself. A simple camera or Nielsen box could do the trick. Works equally well for Iphones.
4and20, Sep 04 2012

       TV in theory is a refuge from dysphoria. The user doesn't have to move at all, so there is little bodily pain of exertion or otherwise. TV is usually in close proximity to food, drink, shelter, and the toilet. Direct socializing with others is negated, so ones self is safe from physical and mental anguish. And unpleasant messages and imagry can easily be avoided, and desireable ones sought.   

       For others TV is a normal social tool, providing images they can aspire too, a central point of intersubjective discussion, and a diversionary distraction from the distresses of life, among other things. Each of these things neutralizes or eutralizes dysphoria by minimizing existential alienation, boredom, etc.   

       However, on some it may have the opposite effect. A person may feel imprisoned by the TV, watching the wealthy and beautiful socializing, as one sits impoverished, homely and alone, imprisoned in their own atrophied body. Maybe this person feels content? Is it normal to feel content when you should feel discontent?   

       Maybe thoughts and actions cause complexity of bad feelings like cognitive dissonance. Maybe TV is intrinsically satisfying for the above reasons, but a mixture of messages throws the user into chaos.
rcarty, Sep 04 2012

       Nothing against television if it makes one content. Some of the best documentaries show up on good television. Robert Louis Stevenson has a great essay about being content anywhere in the world.   

       There are any number of people who would watch TV together if they had a society.
4and20, Sep 04 2012

       I'm not sure it's as straight forward as that. If a person uses TV to satisfy loneliness, because they are excluded from popular culture, and TV produces the norms of popular culture, are they imprisoned by TV?
rcarty, Sep 04 2012

       I don't watch normal tv much but reproducing the life of a lemur (or the reproducing life of a lemur) hasn't subtly transmogrified living space around my documentary box.
4and20, Sep 04 2012

       You are not made jealous by their magnificent tails?
rcarty, Sep 04 2012

       Can the device override channel choices if those selected by the user indicate an excess of negative inputs, leading to heightened social dissonance?
Phrontistery, Sep 05 2012

       That's one possibility however I think the device should be as passive an observer as possible. The general idea is that these technologies are social in nature, play a social role, and are interacted with socially. It's also possible that these devices are better than any person at observing behaviour because they can accumulate raw data on the most basic psychological and social drives of the user. I'm not an advocate for surveillance, but perhaps a reluctant surveillance realist. If a normalized electronic device like a cellular phone that now acts as an intermediary in almost every social interaction, including the social interaction between user and phone, could compile data relevant to the users social and psychological wellbeing that could possibly prevent some people from going apeshit. Machines are part of social order. People need to be more heavily controlled by machines.
rcarty, Sep 05 2012

       How do you differentiate between people who are discontent, and those who are content to be different?   

       Perhaps we could start with facebook, which readily has the data available, and compile a set of averages which describe 'normal' behavior. Then give each user a score of how far they differ from the mean, and cross-match this with some standard mood disorder questionnaires.
mitxela, Sep 05 2012

       And show them ads for their prescribed pharmaceuticals.   

       //How do you differentiate between people who are discontent, and those who are content to be different? //   

       How much pharmaceuticals they buy.
rcarty, Sep 05 2012

       //Machines are part of social order. People need to be more heavily controlled by machines.//   

       You're joking right?
Please tell me you are joking.

       By control I mean perform a greater disciplinary role in maintaining social order.
rcarty, Sep 06 2012

       Ah you 'are' joking. Right then, carry on.   

       Books are a technology, and they discipline people as a necessary requirement of their usage. It might also be why books are the basis of most disciplinary institutions including religious.
rcarty, Sep 06 2012

       Books, other forms of media, and machines should only inform, not discipline.
They have no conscience, they are not accountable for their contents, and any meanings can be made to change given time.

       ...and if I have to take much more crap from appliances I might just go Amish.   


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