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Emotional Intelligence: Oxymoron or Not

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Have you ever heard of emotional intelligence? Do the two words seem like they can’t possibly belong together? That is essentially the definition of an oxymoron, or is it? An oxymoron is two words of contradictory meaning put together for special effect, like legal murder or reality television. Now does the term emotional intelligence sound like an oxymoron? The idea of intelligence lends itself to emotions. Whether you have it or not can be based on emotions; either the idea of learning more and more makes you desire more to learn, or learning sounds like hard labor and not very fun or interesting at all!

Now what about social media? If there was a word to be examined for oxymoronic tendencies, it’s probably social media! Before it met social, media was newspapers, the local/world TV news shows and either depressing or boring to the average person. When social met media it made media new, interesting, fast, and furious. The two words gave each other a public relations makeover! That’s it; emotional intelligence just needs a makeover! It needs to be taken from its academic roots, where it’s been bandied about and examined ever since it was first coined as a term by Daniel Goleman.

Goleman defined emotional intelligence as…“a set of skills, including control of one’s impulses, self-motivation, empathy and social competence in interpersonal relationships.” Goleman’s definition sounds like social media and emotional intelligence need to meet each other to combat the antisocial fallout of social media outlets, a concept called cyberbullying, a term itself that screams oxymoronic. Socially, people love the oxymoronic, it’s counterculture and cool. Emotional intelligence wasn’t necessary in the coding behind social media, so it must be used within the uber-rich format of today’s growing social media culture. Social media can be used to make over emotional intelligence and place it in the mainstream, where it can influence the flow of social media.

Social media is all about self-motivation; the idea of possibly being seen and/or heard by all manners of people, in all points of the world. It can be empathetic, allowing someone in Midwestern America to understand the feelings of someone going through social upheaval halfway around the world. However, social media does have an impulse control problem whose competence can arguably be found wanting. The beauty of social media is that it can be simultaneously used to influence or be influenced itself. Emotional intelligence can find its mojo through social media, and in turn emotional intelligence can balance the impulsive nature of technology, which fuels social media. Social media only asks for more and more content and emotional intelligence, through social media, can help to provide a healthy balance.