Posts with no Response: The Island of Loneliness by Zhejiang University
**The demo video and pictorial of this project can be found in https://osf.io/3kt8d/.
Social media platforms generate a constant flow of digital expressions, opinions, and emotions, forming a mass of data that constantly exists and continuously evolves. While much attention is often given to opinion leaders and posts that receive extensive responses, few works explore the unacknowledged expressions in this vast digital landscape.
These unresponsive posts, seemingly insignificant in their weight or impact, hold an intrinsic value as reflections of individuals' thoughts and emotions at specific moments. Like grains of sand sinking and settling at the bottom of the sea, these posts form an unseen layer that merits our attention.
We explore these overlooked expressions, focusing on posts that convey feelings of loneliness. The absence of responses amplifies the sense of isolation, compelling us to shed light on these silent voices and highlighting their existence and significance. They record human loneliness and indicate its eternal existence: even in a world where the Internet connects people and everything, individuals can still experience deep loneliness.
This project aims to amplify the expression of loneliness in social media through visualization. We first collect social media posts that received no response, particularly during poignant periods like the Christmas and New Year holiday seasons. Through data-driven approaches, we extract underlying topics and unravel the emotional undercurrents embedded within each post. We try to comprehend the multifaceted nature of loneliness within social media, the digital and perpetual landscape.
Finally, we undertake the task of visually representing these unattended expressions. By creating a metaphorical island—a content repository—, we symbolically manifest the accumulation of these solitary "sands" in both the digital realm and the physical world. This visual representation serves as a testament to the enduring presence of these expressions and embodies the continuous nature of the data-driven landscape we inhabit.
In the vast mass of the data-centric world, this project strives to unveil hidden narratives and untold stories within the expansive sea of data. By bringing attention to these neglected expressions and illuminating them through visualization, we aim to deepen the collective understanding of the intricate interplay among data, human emotions, and the ever-evolving fabric of our world.