Have we been turned into emotion zappers?

One last journey to and from the clinic and I spent the rest of the day recovering from a week of emotional ups and downs. Monday – I spent doing stuff people do, when they return from a holiday. Tuesday – I was a bundle of nerves waiting for Mr. M to come out of the operation room. Wednesday – I switched from worrying for Mr. M’s wellbeing, shopping for a suitable shirt to match with the pants I planned to wear for the interview and mentally preparing myself for it. Thursday – I was full of adrenalin before, during and after my very first job interview. Now we’re back to Friday, when I felt like doing nothing.

While I was digesting all the experiences I have made and feelings I have felt this week, I thought that it was terrible that I did not have the chance to digest the moment immediately after it happened. I admit that this week might have been extreme. However I have the feeling that we do not dwell on our emotions for long, especially if these emotions are unpleasant. For example I find it frustrating to watch the news on TV after something tragic has happened. One moment the newscaster is talking about thousands of people losing their lives because of a Tsunami and with the next breath the Sports segment is introduced with a smile. I understand that the format of a news broadcast does not allow for the information to be presented in a different manner. But is the format also indicative of the way we are easily able to switch from sadness to happiness? What could be a potential reason for our emotion zapping?

Zapping is a word used to describe a television viewer’s behaviour to change channels and watch parts of various shows at the same period or TV watching session by constantly switching between channels. I am a notorious zapper and I consider myself an expert in this area. What causes me to zap? Commercials is a common reason but I have the feeling that some of the private channels have gotten together to time the commercials at the same moment across channels. Another reason is because a segment is being repeated or whatever is being shown does not interest me. Switching channels is easy especially when one has a remote control. But I do not think that we switch emotions quickly because we are callous or other people’s tragedies bore us.

Are we emotion zappers because of nature or were we nurtured to react this way by society? I have been to a few funerals of loved ones in my live. On the one hand, I was feeling distraught and on the other hand I was laughing about something mundane. Is it a form of self-preservation because there is only so much negative emotion that we can bear at once? Is it an instinctive way to release sorrow in order to make place for more sorrow? Or is it the only way we have learned to deal with emotions conditioned by years of watching news on TV? (The latter is a rhetoric question not to be taken seriously.)

Whatever the reason is for us to switch emotions easily or quickly, I do not think it is a case of out of mind out of heart. I do not think that we can simply switch off our emotions. In my opinion we still need to digest these emotions at some point in time by contemplating their impact on our psyche and coming to some kind of closure with the situations, which caused them. Until we do this, I am sure the emotions we aim to forget would come back to haunt as. That’s what I did today and I am ready for whatever life throws at me next. 🙂

One thought on “Have we been turned into emotion zappers?

  1. P/S: I was wondering, if depression is a result of not being able to switch emotions. Its like being stuck on the horror movies channel and it is not possible to change the channel or switch off the TV or look away. That is an horrifying thought indeed.

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