10 Mar

By Rick McVicar 

  Algorithms on social media can now pick song lyrics, poems and music to match your mood. In turn, social media has become a tool for brain health recovery.   

  If you do not believe it, then try a little experiment yourself, similar to what I did this morning. I went on Facebook and posted a few messages about my mood.  

   “I feel sad. What song does Facebook recommend for me?”  

   I refreshed the page and found a post with a poem suggested for me. It was “The Arrow and the Song,” by Henry W. Longfellow.   

   “I breathed a song into the air, it fell to earth I know not where… And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.”  

   I sent out a second post, “I am starting to cheer up. What song does Facebook recommend for me?”  

  After refreshing the page, some words of Ola Harrison appear, “Not every mountain climb reveals, a glimpse of glory, Not every road we dare to travel leads, to blissful ends.”   

  A quotation from F. Scott Fitzgerald was then suggested for me.   

   “And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”   

  Finally, I posted, “I am starting to feel happy. Can I hear some music from Facebook?”  

   I refreshed the page and was given “Taxi,” by Harry Chapin, as a suggestion. The song tells the story of a taxi driver stopping to pick up a woman who turns out to be an old flame.  

   The idea of the experiment came to me after reading, “Music Recommendation System Based on Emotions,” 2021, by M. Ravidu Shehan Perera and Sulochana Rapasinghe on acedemia.edu.  

   The researchers are interested in further developing programs that can analyze social media postings for what they reveal about emotions. The researchers are then working to match those emotions with appropriate song lyrics and music.   

  They argue that social media is now the main communication method for expressing emotions, replacing in-person communication for a lot of people. Social media companies are responding with poems, lyrics and music.

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