Growth Mindset Podcast

103: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World - Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips, journalist and author

April 6th, 2020

Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips

A journalist and editor who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her writing on law, finance, health, and technology has appeared in the Establishment, VICE, Quartz, Institutional Investor magazine, Law360, Columbia Journalism Review, and Narratively, among others. She writes a blog and newsletter about empathy featuring reportage, essays, and interviews.

In The her book, Kaitlin shares her own personal stories as well as different stories of numerous professionals about moving innovation and technology forward without succumbing to isolation. This book is for anyone interested in how our brains work, how they’re subtly being rewired to work differently, and what that ultimately means for us as humans.

Kaitlin and Her book

Connect with Kaitlin on LinkedIn
The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World
[Kaitlin's website](


My name is Sam Harris. I am a British entrepreneur, investor and explorer. From hitchhiking across Kazakstan to programming AI doctors I am always pushing myself in the spirit of curiosity and Growth. My background is in Biology and Psychology with a passion for improving the world and human behaviour. I have built and sold companies from an early age and love coming up with unique ways to make life more enjoyable and meaningful.



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Have Healthy Digital Boundaries

These days, many of us have mobile smartphones and multiple social media accounts. This means that we have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips but it also means that we’re contactable in more ways, and in more instant ways, than ever.

It's important to create limits in regards to who we follow, what sort of content we consume, and how much time we spend on the internet. The amount of ‘buzz’ we receive from the digital world can, at times, become overwhelming. It can create anxiety and leave us feeling drained. Setting digital boundaries can help us to manage the way we interact with the digital world, which can ultimately help us to manage our mental health.

Sit more with your thoughts

Are you comfortable with just you and your thoughts, or do you need to constantly distract yourself from the inner workings of your own mind? We have to start re-connecting with our minds, and being more comfortable with just sitting with our thoughts

Take a few days to ponder your thoughts, go with your feelings and think through them. Even write them down if you think it might help. We all need a healthy dose of self-reflection every now and then. We’re always so focused on moving forward in life that we forget to take a step back and let it all in.

Using Tech to Build Empathy

Online communication has created a space for people to openly speak their minds, which means they can vent anonymously with little fear of repercussion. Without having to see another human’s emotional feedback loop, some individuals feel emboldened to speak hatefully, create fear and spread mistrust. More than ever, we need to cultivate empathy as a society.

Understanding the feelings of others is fundamental to communication and connection. However, experiencing empathy online can be more challenging than face-to-face communication, as you don’t get the immediate feedback of seeing someone’s facial expressions and body language. That is why learning to understand and communicate emotions in a digital context is an essential skill, and even more important given that the internet plays such an integral role in society.


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