For the “Tell Us How You Really Feel” empirical study in collaboration with Anna Willert, 3hd and its community will turn into an object of research, investigating the impact of media and technology engagement on mental health. Rooted in the queer-digital scene, the festival has taken a deeper look at transformation in the internet age and new technologies since its first edition in 2015. This year, 3hd explores the viability of acting outside of the status quo with its theme “Whatever You Thought, Think Again.” It aims to promote a proactive approach to critical thinking and reflection regarding ourselves, the individual, and our society.
In this context, 3hd proposes to see mental well-being as a social act, and therefore as a political, rather than a personal issue. As we spend more and more time online, many of our relationships are initiated, negotiated, and maintained in the digital sphere; we are constantly changing, improving and ‘branding’ our digital identity. It leads one to wonder why we feel the need to use the Internet with increasing frequency in order to achieve satisfaction in our life, and how feelings like pleasure or stress are connected to our time spent online.
Therefore we ask: How does a flexible, and digitized lifestyle make us feel in today's information society? In order to try and answer this question, the “Tell Us How You Really Feel” survey draws on the scientific method of “Positive Psychology” - a discipline that instead of focussing on the pathological, promotes an affirming human functioning and development across biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life. Working in cooperation with physician and prospective psychiatrist Anna Willert, this project examines the influence of our media and technology engagement, economic status, personal attitudes, and mental well-being in the age of digital capitalism.
The study is an experiment and invitation to actively think and talk about mental well-being in our contemporary neoliberal reality.