Twitter tweets our emotional states

Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 30/09/2011 17:30

A new study in the journal Science examined the contents of more than 500 million tweets sent in 84 countries over two years, looking for signs of good moods and bad. It found what a lot of us could tell by looking at our own lives.

Optimism is reborn with each new day and slowly erodes as we work, study and go about our quotidian affairs. Our mood lifts as we head home to friends, family, entertainment and beer. Our outlook tends to be sunnier on weekends. And speaking of sun, when it starts to pile up in the spring or disappear in the fall, that affects our mood, too.

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Wake up, it's a beautiful morning, confirms Twitter [AP]
Twitter confirms it: people tend to wake up in a good mood and are happiest at weekends.

Beyond the breaking news and celebrity chatter, Twitter is offering scientists a peek at real-time, presumably little-filtered human behaviour and thoughts. Cornell University researchers turned to the social network to study mood and found a pretty consistent pattern.

Twitter shows we get up happy but get grumpier as day wears on
People around the world wake up feeling enthusiastic and alert but become slowly more negative throughout the working day, according to a study of Twitter messages.

Researchers analysed more than 509 million posts from 2.4 million users of the micro-blogging website to study trends in their moods over a two-year period.

Twitter Study Tracks When We Are :)
However grumpy people are when they wake up, and whether they stumble to their feet in Madrid, Mexico City or Minnetonka, Minn., they tend to brighten by breakfast time and feel their moods taper gradually to a low in the late afternoon, before rallying again near bedtime, a large-scale study of posts on the social media site Twitter found.

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.

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