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The Digital Human

By BBC Radio 4

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Jane Charlton suffers from depersonalisation leaving her sense of self fragmented. In order to construct her sense of self she seeks the physical presence of people. For Jane social media means nothing. Dr Anna Ciaunica has studied Jane's experience of depersonalisation and what it tells us about the self, how we construct it and how important it is to maintain. Professor Manos Tsakiris says we need to feel embodiment in order to be fully in touch with our selves. But how does the use of tech influence this? Manos says that the feeling of dis embodied brains or 'brains in jars' doesn't help our sense of self because the body is as important as the brain in constructing the self, even through out adulthood. Aleks goes into a float tank in LA to experience sensory deprivation, no phones to see if she can connect to her body and explores the benefits of doing so. Brynn Duncan suffers from mast cell disease and can have an allergic reaction to almost anything at anytime. Her friends nick named her 'bubble girl' because she needs to constantly protect herself. For Brynn mentally detaching from a body which causes her great pain is critical and social media is one way she is able to do this. It enables her to live outside her body to escape and remove herself from the here and now. But Brynn says she has a hard time re attaching to herself once she has detached. Produced by Kate Bissell Researched by Jac Philllimore Music by Antfood.
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The Digital Human