Analyzing Emotion in Electronic Text

I so adore love letters. Especially the kinds that seep emotions, feelings and declarations of love. I’m not talking about the “Violets are Red” type letters, I’m talking Henry Miller/Anais Nin letters…..Elizabeth Barret Browning and Robert Browning letters. It seems to me that learning, knowing, expressing to one another through letters is a beautiful way of building a relationship. Why else would there be pen pals? Why else would there be a post office?

As those examples slowly disappear into extinction, another form seems to be following their leads….emails. I find myself texting more than talking on the phone. What’s more worrisome is that my teenagers NEVER use the phone. They have no phone skills at all (I’ll broach this subject another time) And emails? Well, I don’t send them as often as I did before either. Time, Time, Time is always my excuse, but part of it is the frustration of ensuring your point is made without worry of:
1. Being misunderstood
2. Tonality
3. Succinctness
I sometimes think that email is for the technical writer. I think of myself as a creative writer. I want to fill my email with anecdotes, ellipses and smiles. I don’t want to have to revert to using 4 letters words to express my disdain or anger. I want to send emails with emotion streaming from the bytes, but I would rather receive them more. Is there anything better than reading a steamy email from someone who adores you?  Okay honestly?
I just want to be understood.


Doesn’t everyone?


The Experience Project has developed an emotional analysis machine called “The Crane”. This analytical tool takes emails, texts, captions from pictures and more and analyzes the writer’s mood and emotion.

At its base, Crane looks for the potential emotions that could lurk behind every word it encounters, and it uses context to disambiguate and determine the emotional profile of any text. As a result, it is sensitive to the variations in the emotional meanings of words when they’re used in different contexts. Finally– a tool that is sensitive to our emotional complexity, a tool that can understand us as humans.

Yes, our emotions make us who we are.  Through writing, we can understand one another and relate to one another. I am wary of men who don’t want or feel the need to woo me but not email me.  They’re either illiterate, too busy, or worse, lazy; traits that are all detrimental to a long term relationship.