The Vulnerability of Opening Up

Guest post by Merri Weir, Facing History Los Angeles Teacher Leader

What does 2026 look like and what would happen if I could feel people’s emotions? Will anything be private anymore?

I didn’t know what to expect when I signed on to be a Facing History Face the Future game guide but it has been fast and furious but most importantly enlightening. Reading how students imagine a future in which you can be part of the FeelThat Network. A network that allows you to experience people in your network’s emotions in real time.

As I am monitoring game cards several trends have begun to appear. One that stands out to me is the issue of privacy. Since most game participants are teenagers who are deeply entrenched in social media I was surprised by the large number who played Shadow Imagination cards about the loss of privacy especially because they share their lives so openly on social media in the present. This is one mirrors numerous others cards which led to Big Builds.

Shadow Imagination Card: It will end the privacy and the individuality of the people by not having power of the secrecy of their own feelings. #prepaibero

Variety of response cards to the original card on the end of privacy and individuality

Playing the game allows you to interact in numerous ways and to view responses in various formats the graphic below is the visual for this build. You can find bubble graphs of this and other “big builds” here!

visual bubble graph representing the conversation

I began to think about how the issue of privacy in this case may be that they are making themselves vulnerable like Sanjai:

Shadow imagination card: "#Privacy It interrupts the spirit of brainstorming or discussions at work. Since they will know the mindset I have come with to the meeting"

Is feeling vulnerable always a negative can you turn that vulnerability into understanding and result in greater empathy? If we face our own vulnerabilities can we expand our Universe of Obligation and build relationships on trust and understanding? This is what BSIEmma is asking players and you should be too.

Positive imagination card: What do you think is more important? Putting yourself out there to feel emotions, or backing out due to privacy concerns? #bsi