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Comunicar Journal 46: The internet of the Future (Vol. 24 - 2016)

Internet and emotions: New trends in an emerging field of research


Emotions have become increasingly important in our time, in all realms of social reality. This revaluation of the affective dimension of the person is revealed in its common presence as subject of research in many fields of knowledge. Also in Media and Communications studies, and specifically in relation to the use of digital technology, there is an academic interest in emotions. This paper maps the field of study where emotions and digital technology converge, specifically in the use of the Internet. There appears a vibrant, wide and complex field of study in which come together approaches of different types, both on the theoretical plane and on the methodological one. The article provides an overview of research carried out in this subject, which includes the study of social media as spaces of interaction where emotions are displayed, the massivescale emotional contagion or the sentiment analysis in the digital platforms, among other topics. We conclude that the Net not only arouses emotions in users and serves as a channel for the expression of affection, but also influences the way in which this affection is modulated and displayed, as well as the configuration of the personal identity of the users of the Internet.