The Mega Marketing Of Depression In Japan Analysis

1580 Words 7 Pages
Technology has the power to influence the lives of people on a global scale. Communication between countries has become faster and more efficient. Medical breakthroughs continue to save lives that otherwise would have been lost. Technology is eternally transforming. However, with improved technology, questions about ethics and morals have become more pressing. In Watters essay, The Mega Marketing of Depression in Japan, he explains the pharmaceutical companies attempt to change cultural ideas on health and disease, while Fredrickson in her essay Selections from Love 2.0, emphasizes the importance of science when discussing love, a topic laden with the influences of culture. Both authors incorporate science and culture into their writings to …show more content…
Ethics is a system of rules that keeps people from overstepping or crossing into precarious territories. Watters highlights the lack of ethical behaviors the executives of the pharmaceutical companies had, “If it was unrealistic social demands that were the cause of distress in the population, why should the individual be taking the pills? In the end, however, the coherence of these various messages took second place to their effectiveness” (Watters 527). GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical company, advertised, the pressures of living up to the standards of the Japanese society as one of the causes of depression in the Japanese people. However as Watters points out, taking the pills will not change society’s expectations and standards and therefore will not relieve the stress nor the depression. He begins to question the motive behind the companies – if the only reason to change the cultural belief on depression was to make a profit and not an effort to help the Japanese people realize depression was a serious illness that needs to be treated. If it was only for the profit, science had crossed the ethical boundaries. Turkle similar to Watters worries about the ethics being ignored. Rather than pharmaceutical companies, in her essay, she uses robots to describe the “singularity” or ethical boundaries that should not be crossed. Turkle writes “No matter what position one takes, sociable robots have taught us …show more content…
Fredrickson equates love to forming connections. She writes “But it those rarer moments when you truly connect with someone else over positivity – by sharing a smile, a laugh, a common passion, or an engaging story – you become attuned, with genuine care, and concern for the other” (Fredrickson 113). Connections can be made through positive actions. The smallest action, a smile or eye contact can raise oxytocin and vagal tone and physically change a person to be more equipped to forge connections. Therefore, it is interesting to consider the possibility of humans forming connections with non-human, or robots. Turkle wonders to what extent robots are considered alive, and considers the consequences of complex robots that can respond to human interaction. Turkle describes robots that respond to pain, “We are at the point of seeing digital objects as both creatures and machines. A series of fractured surface – pet, voice, machine, friend – come together to create an experience in which knowing that a Furby is a machine does not alter the feeling that you can cause it pain” (Turkle 476). Hearing a Furby squeal in pain causes humans to react to them as if they were real. Even though people know Furbys are machines, because of the emotional response similar to a human, people are compelled to treat the Furby as if it were real. Turkle argues, once a technology is

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