Empathy in Action: Fostering Digital Empathy Through Intergenerational Activities Among Online Users


With the widespread adoption of online media technology, all generations have become active online users in the digital world. However, each generation's unique experiences and perspectives can create challenges in intergenerational online communication due to a lack of digital empathy - the cognitive, emotional, and social skills to be sensitive and supportive of others' feelings, needs, and concerns online. To address this issue, the study designed video clips and the 'empathy gym' activity based on digital empathy and intergenerational communication concepts. The objective is to promote digital empathy among online users and bridge intergenerational divides in communication. Twenty-eight participants from each generation, who watched video clips promoting digital empathy, joined the empathy gym. The gym included activities like the "Wall of Lives" to train social empathy and "Perspective-taking activities" to develop interpersonal empathy. After the activity, a focus group collected data, revealing that participants gained perspective-taking from different generations and understood their differences better. They recognized the importance of media campaigns to promote digital empathy and knowledge among all generations for effective communication. This shows that embedding social and interpersonal empathy in online media users through this activity enhances their digital empathy awareness. However, participants were uncertain about consistently communicating with digital empathy in online media spaces, especially when discussing sensitive political issues in Thailand's context, given its history of divergent political opinions. Further studies are required to put digital empathy into practice in real-life communication.

Author Information
Chanansara Oranop-na-ayutthaya, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand
Araya Sookhom, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand
Kanisorn Rasrichai, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2023
Stream: Social Media and Communication Technology

This paper is part of the MediAsia2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Oranop-na-ayutthaya C., Sookhom A., & Rasrichai K. (2023) Empathy in Action: Fostering Digital Empathy Through Intergenerational Activities Among Online Users ISSN: 2186-5906 – The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5906.2023.27
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5906.2023.27

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon