Wanna Know How I Feel?

19 Sep

There are a bunch of apps that track your self-reported mood. (See a compilation)

One of them, Jon Cousins’ MoodScope, encourages people to share their moods with a few buddies. Buddies can check the web site, or be notified each time you record a new mood score.

Cousins tells a great story about how he was inspired to create the tool, based on his own experience. He was tracking his mood for a while. When he started publishing it to five buddies, he immediately stopped having ups and downs, and that continued with do dips for more than a year. Watch the video, skipping to around minute 6 or 7 if you don’t want the full runup.

Alexandra Carmichael has a slightly different story about the social effects of sharing mood data. In her case, it didn’t magically eliminate mood swings, but she reports a few other findings. First, after about a month her moods began to align with her friend’s. Second, sharing moods with the friend strengthened the friendship; now they are best friends. And even though it hasn’t magically made her happy all the time, she thinks that the sharing and reflecting together about their moods makes her accountable for taking care of herself and “reminds me of who I am and how I want to live”.

Sharing something as personal as our moods clearly puts us in a vulnerable position. But perhaps that’s why it’s so powerful.

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