The Web of Emotions

<p class=”Introduction”> I recently learned the programming language of HTML. A lot of nerds (hi- I’m one of you) will recognize this as the barebones language internet browsers will read when deciding what to show for a website. Everything is enclosed in “tags” which appear in angled brackets like <this>. Plain text has a tag. Images have tags. Tags have tags. The computer reads these tags so It knows what it’s doing with the next set of information, until it finds a new tag, or a closing tag. </p>

<h2>I wish life had tags.</h2>

<p class=”body1”> Imagine knowing exactly when you need to listen in because a conversation has a tag to tell you it’s getting interesting. It’d probably look something like <strong> to emphasize the important stuff before the closing </strong> when the subject turns to something far less interesting. Students could use this to know when a professor’s going to put a piece of information on an exam! Don’t want to see a horrifying image your younger/older sibling sent? Just read the tag beforehand and it warns you so you don’t burn your eyes to oblivion.</p>

<p class=”body2”> Of course, I sometimes forget that there actually are tags for everyone. They’re called “emotions.” They’re scary stuff for a lot of us to have, but hear me out. At their core, like any other HTML tag, emotions aren’t bad. They tell us something about ourselves. When I get angry because someone interrupts me, I know that the anger “tag” is telling me I like my opinion to be important to people, and when they interrupt me, I feel like they’re ignoring me. When I get sad because I don’t have coffee in the morning, that tag tells me I really like coffee.</p>

<p class=”body3”> So… if these tags are helpful, why don’t emotions help us? I’m glad you asked, because I seriously don’t know half the time. Continuing with our computer-nerd metaphor, if we’re reading tags to understand stuff, we also need to display it correctly on the metaphorical computer monitor- or, for humans, our behaviors. This means we, first, need to read the tag correctly. If I try to eat chocolate-covered espresso beans every time I’m sad, I’ll hurt myself further with my caffeine-driven run around the planet. Obviously, that tag isn’t being read correctly, because my behaviors in that case are harmful. Although, I’m still contesting that point because, come on– chocolate-covered espresso beans. </p>

<p class=”importantsetup”> Remember how I said HTML is basically the barebonse baseline of webpages? Well, there are a few more languages that can be used to spice up the internet a bit more. These include, but are not limited to, the following random acronyms: CSS, PhP, JavaScript, and JQuery, to list a few. These help refine and redefine sections of information so the computer can use and display them in a more appealing, proper manner fitting that of a well-built website. </p>

<p class=”spiritualknowledge”> God is a lot like these other computer languages. He can make us into something far better, and He can give our tags new meaning. He can even make things move dynamically (that’d be the JavaScript and JQuery working together)! But there’s one key component that HTML needs to have for these other languages to come in and improve everything. For each language, the HTML must be linked to that language and its corresponding file in order to enjoy the new functions. We can’t continue our HTML life and expect anything new if we don’t continually reconnect with God and constantly allow Him to redefine our body, paragraph, and section tags. We can’t expect our HTML emotions to help if we don’t turn to God for instructions on how to handle the information inside those tags.

But I still like chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Special guest writer: Isaac

Image credit: Isaac Miller

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Color Theory

I like to think of myself as an artist. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to practice it in a while due to huge amounts of homework from classes. You college students know the struggle. Even though my hand-eye coordination might have faded due to lack of practice, knowledge about the technique still sticks around in my head. What’s been bouncing around in my skull most recently is color theory, which is how one mixes colors to achieve the target color, and how to use each color to complement another. It’s also how colors are perceived and how they can subliminally affect the viewer’s mind.

Each color has its own set of emotions it conveys. Red, for starters, represents anger, passion, hunger, and power. Purple stands for mystery, magic, and royalty. You can see advertisements utilizing colors in order to sell certain items; fast food chains do this all the time. Billboards with burgers surrounded by red makes the food more appealing, since red can make the viewer hungrier. Meanwhile, vacation resorts might stick with blues and greens, since they’re calm, cool colors that convey peace and harmony.

Everyone has a favorite color. A lot of the time, this reflects certain traits about their personalities. For instance, since my favorite color is blue, it could be reasoned that I hold harmony and imagination high in value. My brother’s favorite is green, which is a color usually associated with hope, life, and nature; all of these are important to him and part of his personality. Those who favor red might be more passionate than others, and so on.

At the beginning of the year, I was diagnosed with chronic depression. There are many myths and preconceptions about depression. Therefore, I had to figure out how to word the symptoms in a way that most effectively described exactly what I was going through, since sadness and suicidal thoughts are definitely not ways my depression manifests. In the end, the most accurate description I can come up with is this: the world loses its color. Sure, I can see colors as well as anyone else. But when it comes to perceiving them, there’s no passion in the reds, harmony in the blues, peace in the greens, or mystery in the purples. My brain physically struggles to convey emotions, and what’s left is grey.

Grey is fine. Grey is grown-up, independent, and business-oriented, which is why you’ll see many businessmen and women in grey suits. But grey lacks what the other colors provide. Imagine two drawings of the same thing: one uses color pencils, the other uses normal, grey graphite. In the colors of the background, you can see a struggle between red-hot passion and the quiet blues over the subject, a girl. In the graphite drawing, there’s no struggle between the two emotions. The grey background blends together, and in the end, there’s only a girl standing there, simply… standing. The picture has lost the meaning and message it was meant to convey. The girl is still there, of course, and she can definitely be beautiful, but the picture lacks a whole dimension.

One of the best ways to see colors again is to look for them. The warmth of a sunset, the waves of a lake, the emerald leaves of a tree, the ink on a sheet of paper. These things can lose their color if one forgets to stop and look. Every moment has colors swirling everywhere, and in the bustle of everyday life, they can be lost upon our busy eyes. This doesn’t just mean literal colors, either. If you enjoy a particular person’s presence, a good joke, or even a simple bowl of cereal in the morning, the color of the moment can be lost unless one pays attention. So, as I struggle to remember to stop, look, and remember to restore the color to my world, feel free to sit and join me. Don’t forget what colors are like. Push back the grey. Enjoy each moment, mixed with all the color and emotion that comes with it. Each moment is a valuable painting, and we can preserve it if we remember to stop and look.

Written by Isaac

Image credit: Leonid Afremov. (His stuff is gorgeous—check it out if you like this one!)