Buying and selling feels: a new market for emotions

If feelings start to get consumed like media, we might start to treat them like media, too. For starters, we might start buying, selling, and trading bootleg copies of them, as player Emily speculates:

Shadow imagination card reads: People could make rip off FeelThat products and sell them. #OHSSpeaks

Would we start to trade knock-off feelings, or design a whole bunch of different feeling devices for better experiences?

If feels were like music, or movies, or other media, we’d probably also be on the lookout for super rare feels…if you really had the talent, could you get a pine tree to share its feels with you? Would we start to discover the existence of “feeling whisperers,” people who could coax a feeling out of anything – even a piece of pizza?! Or would we see a new group of “feeling explorers,” who would travel to the ends of the earth to capture the strangest and wildest emotions?

If feels became media, we might also start seeing people turn to this as a new source of income, a new set of skills to develop, or a potential career pathPlayer Pablo Barber thinks so:

Positive imagination card reads: Like actors or voice actors, there could be feel actors; people that record feelings for movies and video games #prepaibero

We might start practicing our emoting skills at a young age so we could produce a really, really pure joy, a unique confusion, or a balanced bittersweet sadness – and fetch a higher price for it.

Or maybe, in a darker direction, AI and automation would change the kinds of work that humans do – and emotions would become one of our last remaining advantages over software. Player Maria Eugenia takes us there:

Shadow imagination card reads: @sarahashields @lmsmiddle #FeelThatShadow is an era of commodification of feelings. AI steal your job you sell your feelings.

Finally, we can’t talk about media without talking about advertising! Advertisers are already diving deep into the new science of emotions, in order to bypass our rational thoughts and appeal to our impulses more directly. Neuromarketing is a field that has been around for only a few decades. It promises to integrate new understandings of emotions from neuroscience, with things like facial coding that tracks the microexpressions on your face, and fold them into advertising.  Player Julia forecasts – and I agree – that advertisements could be juiced up by incorporating feelings into them.

Shadow imagination: Advertisements, which plague our everyday life, could benefit from FT by projecting the desired emotions among people to reel them in.

Maybe this would lead to the rise of “feel blocking” software, modeled after ad blockers!