Twitter Mood Swings

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 2:32pm

Researcher are gathering data around the world on mood swings with social media.

The sun is up, the birds are tweeting and so are we.

“People generally wake up in a good mood,” states Cornell University’s Department of Sociology Scott Golder.

Golder used the social networking site Twitter to map the mood swings of people from 84 countries.

At any given moment someone somewhere is tweeting information about what they’re doing or feeling.

The tweets go into cyberspace where they are recorded into a massive archive of what makes us tick.

"That's why Twitter specifically was such an attractive venue to start to study behaviors and emotions over the course of time," said Golder.

Golder and a colleague developed a computer program that analyzed half a billion tweets, looking for specific words like “happy” to measure mood along with curse words and even emotions like smiley faces.

They found distinct patterns of mood that were consistent around the world.

People generally start the day refreshed from sleep and happy.

Then our mood slowly deteriorates over the course of the day, presumably because of work.

The tweets reveal a universal need for “Happy Hour.”

(SOUND - Scott Golder - Cornell University)
"On Fridays, people start talking about happy hour a lot more and they also start talking about it a lot earlier in the day," said Golder.

Positive attitudes generally rebound at night before we fall asleep until we do it again the next day, telling the world every detail.

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