It’s Friday, and I’m looking forward to the weekend, and apparently so is the rest of the online world. A team of sociologists measured the amount of “happy” tweets people put out around the world, and found it matched previously known patterns of happiness trends:
Drawing on messages posted by more than two million people in 84 countries, researchers discovered that the emotional tone of people’s messages followed a similar pattern not only through the day but also through the week and the changing seasons. The new analysis suggests that our moods are driven in part by a shared underlying biological rhythm that transcends culture and environment.
The report, by sociologists at Cornell University and appearing in the journal Science, is the first cross-cultural study of daily mood rhythms in the average person using such text analysis. Previous studies have also mined the mountains of data pouring into social media sites, chat rooms, blogs and elsewhere on the Internet, but looked at collective moods over broader periods of time, in different time zones or during holidays.
Studying emotions through Twitter and other social media can always be a little tricky (for example, most algorithms don’t get sarcasm). But, that aside, I am very intrigued to see the results that market researchers and sociologists are finding using social media, and seeing how much our “real” lives are accurately reflected in our online worlds as well.
- Moods on Twitter Follow Biological Rhythms, Study Finds (nytimes.com)