Human evolution has invented emotions that help the survival of the individual and the group, just as human evolution has equipped us with a preference for sweet food. In current society, emotions are still helpful in many face-to-face interactions, just as sugar is still helpful if you are really hungry. But just as sugar becomes bad for your health if it is abundantly available, as it often is in our society, emotions can become problematic in human interactions if the usual checks and balances of face-to-face contact are unavailable, as they often are in our society.
Many of us have experienced the shock of receiving an angry email, or the shock of another person’s reaction to an email we had sent and that we had thought was harmless. In face-to-face interaction, human beings monitor the other person’s facial expression, and can immediately takes measures if the other person understands our words differently than we had meant them. Also, face-to-face contact improves our understanding for the other person’s position, so that angry feelings have little chance of emerging or persisting. Several existing apps have addressed the dangers of emotions in email, by interpreting the words that warning you when these words may reflect anger or disrespect.
The lack of contact may become outright dangerous when you are driving a car on the road, and the stress of the busy traffic causes slight irritations to mount up to become aggressive behavior such as cutting in front, inappropriate braking, or tailgating. How good could it to be to have an app that warns you about your stress or anger long before you turn it into action!