I want to be a cyberpsychologist

Nomophobia. Addiction. Depression from comparisons in social media. Development of the brain, learning. A lot of innovation, devices and VR. And how is our psyche absorbing all of this? What happens with our emotions? With our will, our self-perception and learning capability?

I’m tiered and bored of the speech “it’s bad to be connected a lot” who knows?!? The same was said when we started to read and write. Good, bad. Judgment calls are not enough, we have to think.

It is true that the explosion of fire works that these new technologies represent leave more than one open mouthed and it can be frightening to dig deeper. Its more confortable to stay on the surface.

Here is where the love thing comes in again. Cyber psychology. The scientific and experimental study of all psychological phenomenons associated with the use of internet and new technologies. New field of study, in development. Complex. Nothing less and nothing more than the tangel of our internal issues connected to infinite technological possibilities.

Its understanding how mind and behavior are deployed and molded in the context of human interaction with other people, with “the machine” in a technological environment. It also studies various levels of reality. One of the things that I like the most. Direct reality in the here and now. Virtual reality created as digital fiction. And the possible reality: that which has not yet been manifested but we already coexist with its multiple possibilities.

The hottest topics right now are: digital identity, digital relations, types of personalities, emotional transference with the computer, phobias and addictions (yes, nobody can live without a cell phone), pathologies that are associated with or stimulated by technology, shortening or expansion of attention span, regressive behavior, gender identity in cyber space, etc. Also known as Media Psychology and Technology, it is now part of the structure of the American Psychological Association.

It extends to the psychological implications of the creation and relationship with artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. It’s no small thing people. Have you really thought about it!? !It’s not Rosie!

If the issue is complex, so is the methodology of the investigation. Because of course you can´t go around putting electrodes in everybody’s brains. The methodical variety is increasing. Interviews, anthropological immersions (ergo, accompanying a friend in an absorbed Pokemon Go trail), experiments, questionnaires, active observation.

Applications are still being discovered and tested. Psychotherapy will have to change in order to integrate new passions and pains developed in the digital environment. The description of mental disorders as well.

Investigations are exploiting how virtual reality is effective for example as a method for treating posttraumatic stress syndrome, anxiety and phobias; also past experiences in digital avatars for learning disorders and online cognitive-behavioral therapy.

What would Freud say? He would probably come in with some projections in external and anthropomorphic alter-egos

It gives vertigo. And excitement.

Reference: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace.

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