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The Tech That Makes Us Tick: These Home Gadgets Triggered the Strongest Online Emotions in 2021

Beauty and self-care gadgets were the most loved home electronics in 2021; anti-snoring devices and beard trimmers made us laugh the most, while fitness trackers made us sad — all according to Facebook emoji reactions. In truth, it’s an accurate reflection of everyone’s life in another year of the pandemic, with too much time spent indoors and too many failed attempts at maintaining healthy habits. 

So how do you feel about your home gadgets? This might seem like a strange question. But, after spending the larger part of another year at home, you may have bonded with the stuff in your home a little more than you’d like to admit. For instance, do you secretly get mad at your food processor? So do lots of people, as it turns out. To learn more, we analyzed 747,000 Facebook emoji reactions (excluding likes) to around 2 million articles regarding 70+ popular home gadgets and electronics in order to uncover the items that stirred the strongest emotions in 2021.

 

Most loved: When the beauty salon is closed, self-care is (literally) in our own hands

Of all items analyzed, the following gadgets gathered the highest percentage of “love” reactions on Facebook:

  1. Gel nail kit (96% love, 1.3k reactions)

The gel nail kit was hands down the most loved item online in 2021, with 96% love emojis out of all of the Facebook reactions triggered by this gadget. Its popularity goes to show just how much we had to take self-care routines into our own hands — and we ended up loving it.

2. Graphic tablet (92% love, 7.6k reactions)

One of the newest and most popular digital devices to hit the market, the graphic tablet got lots of love — a sign that some of us have been doing something productive this past year.    

3. Kindle (tie) (89% love, 624.9k reactions)

The overwhelmingly positive reactions to Kindles show that we might have found at least one good consequence of the pandemic: either reading is back in style, or, when there’s nowhere else to go, we’re putting our time to good use.

3. IPL hair remover (tie) (89% love, 10.2k reactions

4. Smart air fryer (tie) (88% love, 32.2k reactions

4. Slow cooker (tie) (88% love, 66.4k reactions) 

Kitchen items — like the smart air fryer and its partner in crime, the slow cooker, have also made the list of “most loved devices” this year, as we (re)discovered our cooking skills. And what’s not to love about a gadget that figured out how to make guilt-free fried food or one that allows you to dump all the ingredients in one place and go about your business?

 

Funniest: The anti-snoring device grants us a few laughs and a truly silent night 

Of all items analyzed, the following gadgets gathered the highest percentage of “haha” reactions on Facebook:

1. Anti-snoring device (tie) (89% funny, 1.7k reactions)

Sure, we dealt with a lot this year, but humor is what keeps us going. The anti-snoring device is supposed to reduce the midnight chanting and, as a bonus, it will also make your spouse look like Tom Hardy’s version of Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

2. Beard trimmer (tie) (89% funny, 6.9k reactions)

Apart from being promoted as a device for any man and… any area… it’s safe to assume that the beard trimmer was also the culprit in many home fails in 2021. We may or may not speak from personal experience here, but let’s just say that it was a good thing that a certain writer’s husband works from home.

3. Smart light bulb (83% funny, 9.2k reactions)

Not generally known as a particularly funny item, the light bulb was reinvented this year by a group of nostalgic developers who used an IKEA light bulb to run the 1990s staple game Doom, which caused lots of online laughter. Talk about a creative way of going back to the future!

 

Saddest: The pet camera reactions remind us that cats still rule the internet 

Of all the items analyzed, the following gadgets gathered the highest percentage of “sad” reactions on Facebook:


1. Pet camera (77% sad, 192.7k reactions)

Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss, and that’s exactly what Fu Fu’s owners learned by using a pet camera after leaving the cat home alone during the holidays. The sad reactions to the pet camera accounted for a whopping 77% of the total number of emojis (except likes) — showing us just how easily cats control our emotions and the internet. But, what else is new?

2. Fitness tracker (49% sad, 67.8k reactions)

Online sad reactions to the fitness tracker are the best metaphor for self-disappointment in our failed attempts at staying fit. This evil little device is also the fourth item with most angry reactions.

3. Washing machine (38% sad, 148.2k reactions)

On the same note, the washing machine is here to remind us that a large part of adult life is, sadly, never-ending laundry.

 

Most infuriating: Smart thermostats that make us feel like we’re not home alone 

Of all the items analyzed, the following gadgets gathered the highest percentage of “angry” reactions on Facebook:

  1. Food processor (38% angry, 8.6k reactions)

The food processor is supposed to make cooking easy and hassle-free, but tell that to the 50 different pieces that take up all the counter space and need thorough cleaning after each dish. In fact, just reading that now even gets you pretty irritated, right?

2. Smart thermostat (31% angry, 32.9k reactions)

The smart thermostat took an intrusive turn this year when, in Big Brother style, Texas power companies controlled residents’ thermostats remotely — hence, the angry reactions. Granted, remotely controlled devices can be extremely useful if you’re the one doing the controlling. But, when others do it, you might get an unpleasant feeling that you’re not quite home alone.

 

Most impressive: Smart doorbells that get too personal with the neighbors

Of all the items analyzed, the following gadgets gathered the highest percentage of “wow” reactions on Facebook:

  1. Smart doorbell (44% wow, 9.3k reactions)

Alarmingly, news regarding some smart doorbells revealed that they’re able to capture private data from neighbors — which could be considered a privacy violation, especially if you’re in the habit of bad-mouthing your annoying neighbors. The moral of this story is: smart home tech is spy tech in disguise.

2. Smart thermostat (39% wow, 32.9k reactions)

Also part of the most infuriating items.

 

3. Baby monitor (32% wow, 82.5k reactions)

Stories of brotherly love are always heartwarming, especially when they come from 10-year-olds. This caring brother surprised his mom and the people who witnessed the images captured by the baby monitor when he woke up in the middle of the night to comfort his 18-month-old brother. All together now, “Aww!”

Methodology

  • RentCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States. Our research blog deals with everything related to apartment life, from market analyses to guides and features about apartment amenities.
  • This study was based on data from Buzzsumo's Content Analyzer, an online research tool. We verified 70+ popular home gadgets to determine the ones that triggered the strongest emotions on social media in 2021.
  • We analyzed 747,000 Facebook emoji reactions (excluding likes) to around 2 million articles.
  • We ranked the items by the highest percentages of Facebook reactions (love, sad, angry, funny and wow, excluding likes) to the articles in which they were mentioned in the past year.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the images in this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to RentCafe.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

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Laura Pop-Badiu
Laura Pop-Badiu is a creative writer at RentCafe, with a background in content marketing in reputation management and the hospitality industry. Having graduated with a degree in Journalism, Laura has a genuine passion for the written word and is an avid reader of horror, thriller and literary fiction. She enjoys researching and writing about lifestyle trends and the real estate market. You can connect with Laura via email.

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