The Evolution of Media to Capture Human Emotion

By Arushi, Esther, Ella, Patrick, and Spencer

Clothing Color 

Image result for mourning clothes at funeral
Image result for happy people wearing bright clothes

Clothing color is representative of our mood, making the way we dress a means of communicating our emotions to others. Clothing color being used as an indicator of emotion is a long-standing custom: wearing all black for mourning was adopted by western culture in the early 19th century. Today, although to a lesser degree, we still use the color of our clothing to express how we feel to those around us. Therefore, we project our emotions to others through our wardrobe choices making the color of our clothes a portrayal of our invisible emotions. 


Febreze, Aerosol Air Freshener, Procter & Gamble 

Smells have the capability to trigger certain emotions through olfactory stimulation. Febreze air fresheners allow individuals to reflect a certain emotion provided a variety of scent options to choose from. Febreze can labels include specific images and denotation that caters to the interest of several groups of individuals in order to attract their attention. For instance, an individual who wishes to convey a cozy environment within their home may choose fluffy vanilla for its promise to fill their home with the familiar and inviting scent of home baked cookies. For all who visit, their attention will be on the coziness and nostalgic familiarity of home baked vanilla cookies. 


Brittney Spears shaving off hair, 2007, USA

Hair is a reflection of our identity. When people are having a bad hair day they feel as if the whole day has gone down the drain. Hair may be an expression of cultural or individual identity. For woman hair functions as a symbol of feminine seduction and physical attraction. In some cases, individuals feel they have lost control of their life and turn to hair modification so they may feel they have control over some aspect of their life. When an individual decides to shave off their head, it may be an attempt to relieve themselves of negativity and as a symbol of spiritual rebirth. In 2007, Britney Spears was deprived from seeing her children and shaved her head during a breakdown. This spontaneous act may have been an attempt by the Star to gain control over her life after being released from rehab and being deprived from seeing her children.


Protest Against Inhumane Immigration Laws, Trump Towers, January, 2019

In a system where we are governed by individuals who are meant to represent the will of the people, citizens are responsible for protecting human rights and freedom when at stake. Protesting brings people together from various communities to act together as one voice against injustice. In 2017, trump signed an executive order temporarily barring citizens of seven predominately Muslim nations. Several demonstrators rallied in various locations with signs to voice their stance. Protest signs are a median for individuals to express their emotion towards a specific subject. Demonstrators must think of short yet captivating quotes that effectively get their message across. In the image above, the woman’s choice in denotation reminds the public there is no man-made system capable of labeling an individual as “illegal”, emphasizing that we are all humans with natural born rights. 

Spotify Feels Playlist

Spotify is a digital music streaming service that was released on October 7, 2008. Through licensing agreements, Spotify has compiled a library of millions of songs ranging all genres and styles. They also employ an expert editorial team that creates individualized playlists for every mood or occasion imaginable. This particular playlist, titled “All The Feels”, is a compilation of songs that express depression of sad emotions. Individuals who use Spotify can access this playlist and use the music as an outlet for self expression and emotion.


Image result for emoji

Emojis are small, digital icons used to express an idea or an emotion. Emojis originated on Japanese mobile phones in 1997; in 1999, Shigetaka Kurita created the first widely used set of emoticons for NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode mobile internet platform. Emojis reached their worldwide prominence in the early 2010’s after being introduced by many mobile operating systems like Apple and Samsung. Today, smartphone users electronically depict emotions through text message via emojis; thus, emoticons have been adopted as a visible representation of our invisible emotion. 


Animojis are customized animated emojis that utilize a user’s own voice and facial expressions. They were first released on the iPhone X, which came out in November 2017. Using the phone’s 3D sensor and front-facing camera, users can create moving and talking versions of their favourite emojis which capture expressions and emotions. This technology allows individuals to create and send messages that convey a greater sense of personality than their static emoji counterparts. iPhone Animojis were originally restricted to just 10 seconds in duration, but they can also be converted into stickers and pasted into messages.


Image result for snapchat happy selfie

Snapchat is one of today’s most popular forms of social media; it is used to depict emotions by allowing users to send pictures of their face to others. Initially released in September 2011, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown created Snapchat with the original intention of introducing a person-to-person photo sharing app. Today, Snapchat is available in 22 languages, marketed mostly to teens around the world. It’s popularity comes from the unique style of communication it offers: users can send selfies and pictures in order to convey their emotions directly to others. 


Image result for tiktok

TikTok is a social media app that consists of shared short videos. Most of the videos are lip-sync videos, and are generally around 10 seconds long. The app has become massively popular, especially amongst children and young adults. The app is by the Chinese developer ByteDance, and is a Westernized version of the Chinese app Douyin. 

Artificial intelligence

Image result for artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the demonstrated ability of machines to complete difficult tasks that would normally require a human’s intelligence. The concept of artificial intelligence was founded on the idea that human intelligence is not any more unique or precise than a machine can be, and thus can be simulated.

Overview Statement 

The ability to capture the essence of one’s emotion has become progressively easier through time. With each invention therein lies seemingly endless possibilities to tailor them to your personality. Our collection showcases the evolution of media to capture emotion and attention. 

We began with one of the simplest and most commonly used mediums for portraying emotions: clothing. The color and style of your wardrobe has the power to mold your identity and showcase your feelings outwardly. You can also use it to manipulate how much attention you are given; some wear bold fashion pieces to stand out, while others choose to opt for muted colors to blend in. 

Your environment can be manipulated through scent to depict your emotions as well. By using Febreeze, a room can be scented in a certain manner to make you think of home when you are lonely or even to increase happiness; thus, one’s emotion can be conveyed through scent, which can also direct attention towards the space in which it inhabits. Emotions can also be portrayed through the personalization of hair styles. Hair can be cut, dyed, or styled to reflect each person’s individual taste. Similar to clothing, attention can be drawn with bright hair colors and striking styles. Some even go so far as to shave it all off, such as Britney Spears in 2007; she chose to take this drastic measure in a moment of emotional instability, and is considered by many to be her way of taking back control in her life. 

As our collection advanced we included protests, as they are prominent expressions of emotion. Through large crowds, signs, and blaring noises they often attract attention, not only to the protest itself but also to the emotions being displayed. The protest sign that we chose utilizes a strong message, revealing the protester’s emotion at that moment. Our first technological addition to our collection was Spotify, the music streaming application. Spotify is able to entertain and conform to any emotion the user is feeling through music. The playlist ‘All The Feels’ is used to encapsulate any downhearted feelings that the user may be experiencing. Music can direct attention by creating emotions through songs; for example, music can take the listener back to a memory the song reminds them of. Similarly, emojis are used to depict emotions through miniscule images of expressive faces on smart-phone screens. Although seemingly straightforward, emojis are able to convey complex emotions, often through using many at once or by using them at specific moments. Animojis, which are a technologically advanced version of emojis, work as custom emojis that mimic the user’s facial expressions. The use of Animojis can easily illustrate your emotions because it essentially shows an image of your face’s tone and expressions, masked by an emoji.  When emojis and Animojis are used in texts, the messages become more personal and more effective at capturing attention.

Snapchat is the next application in our collection; it is a form of social media for communication through images. Snapchat harnesses emotion by allowing the user to send pictures and videos of themselves and experiences; people often easily express how they are feeling with images of their own faces with different expressions. Tik tok uses videos in a similar manner, although they are more public and given a larger platform. Users are able to express their emotions through short and humorous videos with excessive freedom the application provides. Both apps are extremely easy to use, encouraging more screen time spent on them. This is especially due to their use of artificial intelligence, which is the peak of technological advancement expressed in our collection. The core of Artificial Intelligence is the idea that technology can equate human knowledge and understand and replicate human emotions. For example, voice recognition with Artificial Intelligence is well on its way to grasping differences in tone, pauses, and linguistic structures in the same way that we hear the change of emotions in the people we listen to.