December 21, 2011
Want More Happy Tweets? Study Says Try Weekends
Want to feel some social media love? You might want to steer clear of your Twitter stream until this weekend.
A University of Vermont study snuck a peek at over 4.6 billion of our tweets for three years, beginning in September of 2008, and discovered that the “mood” of Twitter users ebbed and flowed over the course of a week, month, and even a year.
Over the 33 month study, researchers found that overall, we’ve been slowly sliding into an online depression. Measuring and weighting words such “love,” “failure,” “won,” “party,” “rejected” and others “has shown a gradual downward trend, accelerating somewhat over the first half of 2011,” according to the study’s authors.
With the poor economy, did Government bailouts make us tweet happy thoughts? Nope. How about the death of Osama Bin Laden? According to the study, when news arrived of Bin Laden’s demise, Twitter’s happiness index showed the “day of lowest happiness” of all months studied. Michael Jackson’s untimely death sparked the biggest one-day drop.
Confused about Bin Laden? Perhaps it was the terms we used in our tweets, such as “death,” “grave,” “shot” and “gone,” all likely measuring lower on an overall happiness scale. Researchers admit that the study has its flaws, and that they might have used a “non-representative subpopulation,” including tweets from paid employees and even from automated services, known as “bots.”
Is it perhaps the atmosphere from Twitter itself? In the past six months, the popular micro-blogging service has been shedding employees after co-founder Jack Dorsey was brought back on board to spice things up. Likely not, as Twitter’s tone comes from its users sharing on their social stream…
The study found that if you’re seeking positivity and joy, you’re more likely to come away from your Twitter stream with a smile on weekends and Holidays.
So I suppose I’ll see you tweeting on Saturday!
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