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What do you call someone who is influenced by some external factors unwillingly?

Sample sentence:

Technologies have become ubiquitous—affecting every perspective of our daily lives.

How would you call the people who are affected by technologies without voluntarily choosing so?

Here are some related questions:

Some recommended words are "follower", "acolyte", "credulous". These words refer to people who are either willingly choose to be influenced, or easy to accept influences. I am looking for words that describe people who are affected without making a choice and not necessarily "gullible" (i.e., students who are affected by college admission algorithms).


Edit

Some other related questions:

Here, the recommended words "beguiled" and "tricked" imply a strong negative sentiment to the "influencer". I am looking for a more neutral word. For example, technologies have both good and bad influences on people. People are not necessarily tricked by technologies, but just being affected.

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3 Answers 3

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I think the right word as I heard so many times can be manipulate as you can see in LongMan

manipulate (v) to make someone think and behave exactly as you want them to, by skillfully deceiving or influencing them

Example:

You have the constant feeling you are being manipulated.

[edited] You can see more examples here

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  • Thanks for the answer! I just clarified my question a little bit. I think "manipulate" has a negative sentiment. In the example, technologies influence people in both good and bad ways, so it doesn't really manipulate people.
    – Jay Wang
    Jul 24, 2021 at 17:03
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    I don't think it has a negative meaning, maybe in the example I gave you it is negative but in IMHO the negative word is brainwash rather than manipulate.
    – user428632
    Jul 24, 2021 at 17:24
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    For me manipulate has a negative tone. Handle or manage are similar in meaning but more neutral in tone. The words do not describe those who are managed though.
    – Peter
    Jul 25, 2021 at 1:25
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  1. What do you call someone who is influenced by some external factors unwillingly?

  2. How What would you call the people who are affected by technologies without voluntarily choosing so?

  3. I am looking for words that describe people who are affected without making a choice and not necessarily "gullible".

You have described three distinct types of people.

  1. an unwilling victim/volunteer. Once you have established a context, you may use the substantivised adjective "the unwilling": They know it is happening but cannot avoid it - they continue their objections.

  2. an unwitting victim/volunteer. Once you have established a context, you may use the substantivised adjective "the unwitting": They do not know it is happening but comply.

  3. a reluctant volunteer. Once you have established a context, you may use the substantivised adjective "the reluctant": They know it is happening but cannot avoid it - they accept the situation.

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Impressionable

Vocabulary.com

Someone who is impressionable is easily influenced. An impressionable person can be greatly changed by his or her experiences — not always in a good way.

Collins

Someone who is impressionable, usually a young person, is not very critical and is therefore easy to influence.

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