Friday, March 16, 2012

Virtual World

It's the last day of term. No, not yet. I have yet to graduate. It's the last day of Spring term, I still have Summer term! Had quite an "interesting" lecture day in Mill View Hospital today, which is really not what most of us had expected. We thought we were going to get more practical kind of things but who knows?! They made us travel there then what? Sit in the lecture theatre for whole day!

And I'm going to talk about the final talk "Projected Research and Business Developments" by Susan Conboy-Hill. Let me try to be unbiased and say what this talk is about. They are trying to bring in technology to "do" treatments. So here she talked about the people who are hardest to reach, people who stay at home all the time, people who are scared of human interaction or touching, people who hate leaving home, people who are scared of crowds (perhaps, I added some of these myself), yet all are people who need psychological helps. And they proposed (or in fact are going it already) this "virtual world" where people can learn about interaction, get support, feel "well-being".

Before she even finished introducing the whole ideas of it, my colleagues already started to raising hands objecting how this can probably work, then I joined the debate... We are psychologists (or "worse", we were trained "critical thinking" so much that we criticise everything all the time lol), we emphasise human interactions and think it's incredible central to human lives, well-being, contentment, satisfaction, recovery etc etc.

So I asked her, if Yuko (she just happened to sit next to me so I used her name) had problems interacting with people and thus is prescribed with "Virtual World", how is this going to help her with her situation and to get back to normal life? She answered, "how do you know she wants the interaction?" and carried on with her whole idea of how this can work. I agree, recovery quite often doesn't mean get back to "normal" or "how it used to be", and recovery can simply mean "a sense of well-being" very subjectively, but does she mean Yuko is going to spend the rest of her life in "virtual world"?!! Sometimes in Psychology, even Yuko doesn't know that she wants the interaction, at least not until we help her to do it, then slowly she realizes she really enjoys it and gets the most benefits out of it.

I'm so against technology in some ways. Of course I love technology too. I remember seeing a quote on the train, saying if the world hadn't invented mobile phones, we'd all interact more. Yes, so true. It was meant to assist communication, but nowadays how often do you sit in front of a friend but s/he is using phone on facebook/whatsapp etc?!

I appreciate the kind of convenience technology brings us undeniably. Or I wouldn't be able to Skype with my mum whenever I want. I also appreciate that technology can help with recovery, for example if you have a spot above your eye you google and find out what it possibly be then only decide whether to seek help. But technology can't be a treatment as a whole. Just because we're human... People can often read self-help books and understand more about themselves, can learn how to make themselves feel better etc. There can also be an iphone or android application to help people understand depression or monitor alcohol intake. But how are we going to treat someone with bipolar personality disorder with......... an app? with virtual world?!!!

She acted as if she's very "in" and initially perhaps she also kind of thought she'd get all kind of agreements and acceptance from us because we're the generation who have used and benefit most from the technology ever since. I suppose she was quite shocked to have heard us and turned really defensive, and didn't really make obvious points to answer most of our questions. I don't mean that I don't see the potential of their proposal. But I hate spending so much time in front of the laptop, with the phone. I still do it because there's this habit/addiction/whateveryoucallit. I certainly don't hope to see in the future facebook/twitter/smart phone apps replace all part of our social lives. (She loves twitter so much..) Oh let's go out for dinner... I mean in virtual world?!

And one day when I see you, I lost the ability to interact. (we all are certainly losing it... I just think we should stop before it becomes part of evolution)


bpeng said...

or in fact are going it already -->*doing it?

huibee said...

whoa you proofreading for me ah? xD yea wrong.. >.<

Post a Comment