In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, much has been focused on tormented souls who seek to vent their frustrations on others. In a recently released video and pictures, the killer of 33 innocent lives confessed to being a martyr for all he went through and was holding us responsible for what happened. What did he go through or what exactly does he hold us responsible for is not clear; at least according to the released footage on NBC. There might be more. But let us admit it that there are plenty of frustrated and troubled souls out there. Emotion is part of being a human and the feelings we have range from the ecstatic to downright suicidal. And they can change from being at one end of spectrum to the other. Yup! we all are that fickle and some more than others.
The Internet lets us share stuff anonymously that we otherwise wouldn’t and Post Secret is a living testimony to the dark secrets we hold within us. The difference however is if we choose to act on any nefarious deeds that we think of. I am sure everyone of us has thought of or are thinking of a extremely dark deed sometimes even shocking ourselves but by choosing not to act on it, we differentiate ourselves from the absolutely crazy. People and chiefly the media are pointing fingers at the university for not taking action soon enough which might have prevented the tragedy but then hindsight is 20/20.
But getting back to how we feel, the Internet is a constantly shifting morass of emotions. We Feel Fine is one such venture that attempts to keep a tab on our emotions. According to their mission, “We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence.” We Feel Fine’ has harvested several million feelings so far and allows us to see the distribution of feelings through a series of colorful interfaces. The results are presented in six innovative ways – Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics, and Mounds. I am attaching some screeshots below:
This is the first and the best feature of We Feel Fine:
“The Madness movement, with its network of many tiny colorful particles, was designed to echo the human world. Seen from afar, Madness presents a massive number of individual particles, each colored and sized uniquely, each flying wildly around the screen, proclaiming its own individuality. At this level, Madness presents a bird’s eye view of humanity — like standing atop a skyscraper and peering down at the street. People bustle to and fro, darting in and out of shops, hailing taxis, falling in love, laughing, handling personal crises. From the skyscraper, the people below are like ants — their words cannot be heard, their facial features cannot be seen, and the notion of individuality is hard to recognize. At this level, each particle seems insignificant. Were one particle to disappear, one would hardly notice. However, once a particle is clicked, it explodes into its constituent letters, which then form its sentence, and that particle becomes the center of attention.”