Emotion underpins our motivations and is essential to our ability to reason. And yet we rarely reflect, acknowledge and understand our everyday emotions. More so we often don’t make the connection between our emotions and the choices we make.
The dynamics of everyday life have been drastically altered since the advent of digital technology. Emotions previously expressed in face-to-face encounters, letters and analog technology are now channelled to the digital world first. We rant on Facebook status updates, we celebrate victories on Twitter, we text and email our friends to share our good mood. We feel happy, sad, frustrated, disgusted and we want to share and often validate our feelings with others.
This presents a few key opportunities:
1. Social media and communication channels are rich data sources for gathering insights into people’s emotional well-being. These insights could help explain group/individual behaviour.
2. Facilitating reflection on emotions through playful digital methods and tools allows people to become aware of and better understand their own emotional well-being and (potentially) their behaviour.
3. Understanding emotion – in the real or digital world – is a valuable tool for eliciting a change in behaviour.
4. Understanding the affective bandwidth of digital channels is key to better informing how digital brands, products and services are designed, operated and positioned resulting in positive user experiences.