The internet is constantly exposing us to many different things through many different medias, like videos and images. It is easily to zone out and watch a video or movie on YouTube or scroll through your Facebook feed. Emotionally speaking, the whole zoning out is kind of neutral or numb emotion, which can occur occasionally. The internet can actually be quite cathartic with mindless browsing, while other times, the internet can illicit a much more broader range of emotions and feelings. These can range from happy to insecure, or inspired to infuriated.
When I was thinking of how the internet can invoke emotions, I had to first think about what emotions I experience during my usual browsing. The most common is happiness and joy, this is because I think many things on the internet make me laugh. I think the most common way of invoking this emotion is when I browse Reddit. The humorous parts of Reddit can snowball often with the comments that follow on the specific thread. I think another emotion that I often get from Reddit is inspired. I often find myself reading a do-it-yourself (DIY) thread or a development thread that often makes me want to go out and try something. To be honest, I think I get the most inspiration from the Food subreddits.
In the New York Times article: Brave New World of Digital Intimacy by Clive Thompson, Thompson notes a couple of cases where social media can illicit some emotions as well. Based on a conversation with a documentation specialist named Ben Haley, Thompson notes that Haley’s attitude changed with social media, from annoyed to empowered. Haley says: “I love that. I feel like I’m getting to something raw about my friends. It’s like I’ve got this heads-up display for them.” Thompson later mentions a Laura Fitton, who says that social media has made her “a happier person, a calmer person”. Her reason is a callback to the cathartic side of social media: “It drags you out of your own head,”.
I had to take a step back to really see what emotions the internet provokes, especially for myself. After thinking about it, I saw that there is a full range of emotions that are made apparent. Many sites have a sort of range, like YouTube for example. Personally, I find a lot of videos on the site to be humorous, other times I have felt awestruck with amazement on some. I can also look at the comments section and let the ignorance be either humorous or infuriating. These are some of the emotions and feelings that I can think of that I experience, I am wondering what some of you guys have seen and how it made you feel.