There are two ways that I personally interact with my cellphone that produces an emotional response. The first is adding symbols to a contact to denote a special connotation.
An example of this is the heart shape for my girlfriend Kate. Since my phone currently doesn’t support symbols, I created it with the less than character and the number 3. This symbol brings me great joy whenever I look at my phone for a missed call or a text message on the home screen.
I often notice the symbol first and immediately know that the message is from her, making it more special. Another way that I personalize her message, which is great for not having to look at the screen, is customizing her ring tone and text message tone and vibration pattern.
I often will send her a text before something important, like a talk or presentation. During the presentation, I receive her text message (which I know because of the vibration pattern), and a feel a sense of calm and reassurance. This emotional response wouldn’t be as strong if I didn’t know who was actually text messaging me.