More and more of our experience online is personalized. Search engines, news outlets and social media sites have become quite smart at giving us what we want.
Personalization algorithms can shape what you discover, where you focus attention, and even who you interact with online. When these algorithms work well, they can feel like a friend. At the same time, personalization doesn’t feel all that personal. There can be an uncomfortable disconnect when we see an ad that doesn’t match our expectations. When personalization tracks too closely to interests that we’ve expressed, it can seem creepy.
Your personalization algorithm, however, has only one part of the equation – your behaviors. The likes, videos, photos, locations, tags, comments, recommendations and ratings shape your online experience. But so far, your apps and sites and devices don’t know how you feel. That’s changing.
Emotions are already becoming a part of our everyday use of technology. Emotional responses like angry, sad and wow! Are now integrated into our online emotional vocabulary as we start to use Facebook’s reactions. Some of us already use emotion-tracking apps not only to understand our emotions but also to drive positive behavior change.