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Twitter Says Americans Are Happier In the Morning

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the 140-character-science dept.

Social Networks 88

DWF3046 writes "There are lots of things you can infer from Twitter. But while we're learning what we're eating or where we're flying, we haven't been able to use Twitter to determine how we're feeling. Researchers at Harvard and Northwestern have created a video that shows the mood in the US, as inferred using over 300 million tweets, over the course of the day. The results? The early morning and late evening appear to provide the highest levels of happiness. Geographically, the data points to a significantly happier west coast, which is consistently three hours behind the east coast."

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North Americans are retarded (2, Informative)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913122)

I'm happy all day long.

Re:North Americans are retarded (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913188)

You got that right! It's a good thing I'm right here in America; otherwise, I'd be really insulted by what you said and I'd flame you real bad!

Instead I'm agreeing with you.

Re:North Americans are retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913276)

This must be an American thing.

Re:North Americans are retarded (2, Insightful)

Dashiva Dan (1786136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913554)

I think it's much more likely that people try to be more optomistic in the morning, but gradually become more realistic as they finally 'wake up and 'smell the coffee'

Re:North Americans are retarded (0, Troll)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913824)

Coffee addiction is a serious issue with a huge amount of the world's population. I can see how addiction to caffeine and other drugs could cause people to become unhappy with their lives.

Re:North Americans are retarded (0, Redundant)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913922)

I have consumed copious amounts of caffeine during the best, worst, and average times of my life. While it is possible that this consumption changed a baseline understanding, I think it is more likely that there is just no difference.

Re:North Americans are retarded (3, Interesting)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914026)

Re:North Americans are retarded (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914340)

We were talking about mood, remember? Not alertness, and that was the only thing objectively tested by that study. The mood portions were done by participant-selected confidence scores, which would skew baselines for adjusted persons (the new normal).

As mentioned in the discussion of that topic, there are also health effects [slashdot.org] of tea and coffee to be considered.

That is all unimportant to me though. I consume what I want because it is satisfying, not because of benefit or detriment, so long as my consumption habits are diverse and moderate, I have no problems.

Re:North Americans are retarded (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923414)

Re:North Americans are retarded (1)

Dashiva Dan (1786136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926542)

I put 'wake up and smell the coffee' in quotes. (with an extra quote in the middle as I wasn't yet fully woken/smellerized when I posted it)
a) I wasn't literally implying a caffeine fix, just that their thinking become clearer throughout the day (in fact, this process has become slightly slower for me since I quit caffeine)
b) Even if I did mean it literally, I don't think inhaling the scent of coffee gives you much of a caffeine fix/addiction

If I was modded up for suggesting caffeine as the cause, you can take it off (although I guess there may be a little truth in that aspect); If I was modded up for the actual meaning of the observation, then 'Glad someone read and understood my post'.

Re:North Americans are retarded (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917388)

A few in denial caffeine addicts seem to have mod points.

Re:North Americans are retarded (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922250)

It could just be that those goddamn perky "morning people" are up bright and early and polluting the dataset while sensible humans are still asleep, or wishing that they were...

Re:North Americans are retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32918550)

Actually no. It makes sense. You see, in the morning, people wake up that are looking forward to their day, to their job, to school, to whatever. So of course they will be *happy*. Later on, you have the revival from another near-death-experience of the wash-out elements of society that rises in the early afternoon. These people are perpetually tired, sick, jobless, whatever. So, statistical happiness level drops.

DISCLAIMER: Speaking statistically, not individually. You may be a happy person that just happens to wake up at 4 in the afternoon and goes to bed when sun comes up :P

Before and after work (5, Insightful)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913140)

Now where's my grant money?

Re:Before and after work (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913222)

HEY. It took A LOT of people with A LOT of money with A LOT of time to do A LOT of work to INFER any results that you or I could have come up with using common sense.

Don't rain on their parade.

Re:Before and after work (3, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913478)

HEY. It took A LOT of people with A LOT of money with A LOT of time to do A LOT of work to INFER any results that you or I could have come up with using common sense.

Don't rain on their parade.

Uh, rain? That's not water I'm smelling over here coming from this huge steaming pile of "grant justification"...

Besides, I'm failing to see how they determined "happiness" from the typical "taking my morning shit" and "I hate blueberries in my oatmeal" tweets.

Re:Before and after work (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917916)

Why did you waste time putting something in the comment box? Your sig would have made a perfectly good and insightful post here by itself.

Re:Before and after work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012410)

Well, I can say that this conclusion doesn't match with my experience. I'm miserable from the moment I wake up until I get out of work =(

Re:Before and after work (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913496)

We here at the Slashdot Institute of Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Surprisingly Obvious resent your implication that your non-rigorous "common sense" could possibly outweigh improperly organized research.

Re:Before and after work (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913990)

Huh? How is that common sense? Intuitively you'd think people are happier AFTER work than before it. I know I am.

Re:Before and after work (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914096)

Intuitively, could you agree that people are generally happier when they are NOT at work?

They said Early morning and Late evening.

Re:Before and after work (1)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917226)

Yes and no. Immediately after work some people are stressed because of whatever reason their work environment sucks. After an hour or so when they have had time to decompress and possibly vent to a significant other then they can relax and be happier.

Re:Before and after work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32919118)

You mean in the morning they are happy because they can't wait to spend the next half of the day slaving in a cubicle and after that they are sad because that fun only lasted 14 hours and they have to go home now?

Re:Before and after work (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32961562)

Work? Most Americans are unemployed, more like still asleep. Now give his grant money to me!!!

I know why (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913162)

Because people are twitter shitters [penny-arcade.com]

Happier in the morning... (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913168)

I'd hate to see them in the afternoon.

Why is New York so pissed off? (1)

mikeleb (1844748) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913300)

Louisiana, the Dakotas, and New York seem to be pretty unhappy all day long.

Re:Why is New York so pissed off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913560)

Traffic in New York destroys my soul. Louisiana? I mean, do you really have to ask between natural disasters and massive environmental catastrophe - i'm surprised people are still there. In regards to the Dakotas, I think the cattle outnumber the population.

Re:Why is New York so pissed off? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914158)

Have you ever been to NY city? The only thing missing is a terminator walking over the skeletons of fallen humans. No compassion there.

Ever been to the Dakotas? The only thing missing is.. everything!

As for Louisiana, I think they've been in one big predicament for the last 5 years.

Re:Why is New York so pissed off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32914750)

No, the reason is that the only people in the Dakotas and Louisiana that use twitter are hard core geeks. That's a segment of the population that very rarely gets laid. No "good morning sex" or sex later that night after work. Morning is just crawling out of bed, going immediately to work, and then going back to bed after getting home from work. We are in a bad mood 24/7.

Always pissed? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913428)

New Mexico, Mississippi, West VA and Montana are pissed of 24 hours a day.

Wonder why?
When was this taken? I would like to see this on a matrix with some current events...
How was mississippi/Loisiana before the oil spill?
Is New Mexico Jealous they didn't get an immigration law like arizona?
Is montana just sick of mountains?

I noticed that the flyover states are generally more angry than the coasts... What did they look like before obama care? Before Obama?

Re:Always pissed? (1)

ShadoHawk (741112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915160)

Delaware seems thrilled most of the time. I guess because it's a small state with no sales tax and some gambling!

Re:Always pissed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921196)

That's because the people that use twitter in those states are more likely to be geeks than regular people. They're the ones that rarely get laid, so there's no "good morning" sex or nighttime sex to cheer them up. It's just wake up, crawl out of bed to go to work, come back from work and go to sleep.We're in a bad mood 24/7 because of it.

Am not. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913438)

Fuck twitter. I hate mornings.

Re:Am not. (1)

Jetrel (514839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33045220)

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays? Hmmmmm?!?!

This kind of pap (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913442)

Is not unexpected. A recent study showed that "morning people" were more successful and happy with their lot in life. Late risers were more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, watch too much TV and masturbate.

Re:This kind of pap (0)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913492)

And these stories are written by those morning people.

Re:This kind of pap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32914170)

Late risers were more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, watch too much TV and masturbate.

Study was written by a morning person. Hidden camera footage revealed just as much masturbation among morning people... only they did it in the morning so the late-risers wouldn't find out about it.

Re:This kind of pap (1)

Rufty (37223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915912)

Morning people are dumber. [psychologytoday.com]

Re:This kind of pap (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917674)

Yes. The foul morningoids have rigged the world in their favor. Of course they're happy. At least, until the revolution comes and anyone found awake between 6 AM and noon is liable to be shot.

Re:This kind of pap (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32918644)

At least, until the revolution comes and anyone found awake between 6 AM and noon is liable to be shot.

Who will be up to shoot them?

This just in - Twitter discovers that work sucks! (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913516)

Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled slashdot, but we have breaking news. Scientists at Twitter, Inc, have just published the shocking results from their study of the moods of their posters. They have some to the shocking conclusion that they do not like being at work. Stay with this station for more breaking news on this exciting topic!

Re:This just in - Twitter discovers that work suck (1)

patjhal (1423249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913828)

Dam just had mod points too but they are gone. This is pretty much what I was going to say. The closer to work the unhappier people are. Woulda gave ya one for insightful.

Re:This just in - Twitter discovers that work suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32919316)

If only they know the pain of being fired and sitting jobless at home they wouldn't be so unhappy to be at work.
Huh.

Re:This just in - Twitter discovers that work suck (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32919352)

Either that or they'd tweet miserably about that, too.

oh idle you fail me again (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913624)

oncemore the definition of morning is somewhat of a contested point. Talk to the happy admin at 5 am about how gleeful and chipper his workday began and im certain you'll earn a LART of epic proportion.

Three hours behind, really? (0)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913638)

It took analyzing twitter data for them to find that the west coast, "is consistently three hours behind the east coast." And I thought they where starting to catch up.

Re:Three hours behind, really? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914784)

The analysis is wrong twice a year too.

What time zone is morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913682)

I know I am happier after 7am CDT - since I work night shift and 7am is when I clock out.

The West (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913698)

I live on the East Coast but have noticed that I feel better the more west I go. I'm not sure what it is, something about the time zone shift I think.

Even just one time zone west feels tons better.

My theory is that it's because I feel better going to bed later and getting up later but having the sun in the normal position.

I don't know if the effect would last though. I haven't stayed in another time zone for more than a month or so. I would probably need to do it for at least a year or possibly two before I knew if the effect wears off.

I'm confused about one thing... (1)

Winchestershire (1495475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913726)

Why are the states so disfigured in that video?

Re:I'm confused about one thing... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913854)

They are probably adjusted in size to reflect the sample size of tweets coming from that state (which is why they shift too).

Re:I'm confused about one thing... (1)

Winchestershire (1495475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32918510)

That would make sense, thanks for the response.

Florida and California (2, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913812)

They are almost always green. Must be the nice weather, beaches, and a getting to see people in swim suits all day.

Re:Florida and California (1)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914194)

I take it you don't live here :P

Re:Florida and California (2, Interesting)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914210)

I know you said it in jest but since I moved from Washington DC to Florida my overall attitude has gotten much better. I attribute it to more sunshine and southern hospitality. People are generally pretty nice here. When I go back to DC to visit everyone seems kind of angry.

Re:Florida and California (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914492)

If Californians are so happy, why couldn't they stay there and not bring all their bullshit up to Washington State? Being 3rd generation born and bred to Seattle, let me say this: sunshine blows ass. Too much heat, too much glare, and an increased chance of cancer, why does anybody like that shit? I'm happier when the weather is dark and cool, and rain is nice so long as I don't have to be outside. I moved (more or less against my will) to the greater DC metro area myself recently, and this heat, humidity, and sunshine is killing me, and the people here are so uptight and formal you could crush walnuts between their buttocks.

People in FL are nice though. I'm definitely going to find time to get down there more during the high season when it's not so hot that people spontaneously combust.

Re:Florida and California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32915170)

I know you said it in jest but since I moved from Washington DC to Florida my overall attitude has gotten much better. I attribute it to more sunshine and southern hospitality.

I'd attribute it to a lack of northern hostility.

Geography notwithstanding, Florida is not southern.

Re:Florida and California (1)

djconrad (1413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915334)

I moved to Southern California a couple of years ago, and the pressure to conform (dress right, listen to the right music, have the right body - and attitude) is immense. I've never seen such a monolithic culture before. I wouldn't be surprised if miserable people were twittering happy thoughts because they don't want someone to think they aren't "chill." Admittedly this is at university, but I doubt it gets better in real life.

Tennessee too (1)

urusan (1755332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921352)

It's interesting that Tennessee is much greener than average too. Utah and Deleware are other outliers. None of the unusually happy states seem to be surrounded by other unusually happy states.

I've lived in Tennessee and Northern California before. In CA the weather is amazing all year round. In TN the people are really nice and the cost of living is very low. At least those are the things I personally noticed.

I wish they had higher resolution data though. It would be interesting to see if particular cities or regions of larger states were pulling the rest of the state with them.

Also, two days worth of data isn't enough to draw many conclusions. Maybe the unhappy states had bad weather on those days and the happy ones had good weather? How do the seasons influence happiness?

Re:Florida and California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33006518)

Looking at Iowa and a couple neighbors to the left, it seems to stay red all day every day. But seeing how this grows and shrinks, the state is small in comparison meaning most people there are smart enough to stay away from twitter?

Meaning the few people who use twitter there are unhappy, or that this assumes anyone not twittering is unhappy.

Duh. (1, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913920)

Of course we are happier in the morning. We haven't gone to work, had to deal with idiots, listened to the news tell us how everything sucks.

The best day is the day where one does not listen to the news, drive in rush hour traffic, or have to deal with one's boss or cow-irkers.

Poor West Virginia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32914328)

They are unhappy all day long! And I thought it sucked to live in Cleveland...

Some speculation (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914342)

It's that little bit in the middle where you're at work that just seems to crush your soul a little bit.

Yin and Yang (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914352)

Coffee in the morning (wheee!) and alcohol in the evening (wheee!).

West Coast (1)

joshdw4 (1083273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914452)

... or does this mean the people on the west coast are a lot more sarcastic?

Coffee and alcohol (1)

MMBK (1677314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914688)

No wonder to me why morning and night are the high points. Coffee and booze.

It figures.. (1)

JansenVT (1235638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914810)

Michigan remains angry throughout the entire day.

Re:It figures.. (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915482)

What do you expect when you have to cheer for the Wolverines? (Go Buckeyes :))

I certainly hope our time zones are consistent (1)

Rabid9797 (1164081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915080)

If the west coast was inconsistently 3 hours behind the west coast we'd have bigger problems to worry about.

Perhaps it is more of a cultural thing? (2, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915140)

Maybe its more "in" to be positive on the west coast, and negative on the east coast.

I work with people from all over the US, and I would have 99% certainty that the people on the west coast are always more positive and better to work with than those on the east coast. Midwest people aren't so bad, but its really just a coin toss when it comes to the midwest or east coast.

I can pretty much count on people in california being in a good mood no matter what time of day.

Also to note is that if this is a "popular" thing to do, then the younger crowd is going to be more involved, so what does that say for our up and coming generation? As a gen X'er, i've been pretty scared by the notion that people that are 24 and younger couldn't live a day without their cell phone.

Re:Perhaps it is more of a cultural thing? (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 4 years ago | (#32973874)

In a major coincedence, weed is nearly legal in california

This is true in my case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32915186)

because usually it is in the morning I get laid.

says more about twitter users than... (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915204)

I think this says more about twitter users than Americans. Twitter users are more likely to be quite happy with themselves - if you know what I mean - while those of us who are more modest and value our privacy and thus do not use twitter are omitted from the Twitter demographic. Silly study. Mornings generally suck. Night time is the right time.

People are online in the morning (1)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915886)

People who are online in the morning are going to work and stuff like that.

In the evenings, people are playing with their kids, spending time with loved ones, and having sex. And most people don't post on twitter every time they have an orgasm.

Re:People are online in the morning (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32916776)

Speak for yourself; I have. Both times.

Sarcasm instead of optimism? (1)

Koreantoast (527520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32916136)

An alternative explanation is that people are more sarcastic in the morning. Then toward the end of the day, they're too tired to keep it up.

Uh... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 4 years ago | (#32916804)

...Duh. Tell me who didn't know this.

Wait. I don't want to know.

Wrong University (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32916988)

If you click follow the link to the university website, it is from researchers from Northeastern University not Northwestern University

And the rest of the world is happier... (1)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917798)

...when idiots in America stop twittering.

Were they monitoring the same users (1)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922062)

Were the researchers at Twitter simply monitoring all of the posts or were they paying attention to who was posting. To say if a country, as a whole, was happier in the morning, they would need to monitor and compare the posts of the same people throughout the day. However if they simply monitor all of the posts, ignoring who is posting, and then find the average level of happiness, then all they can say is the posts sampled in the morning are more positive than those posted other days. They can't say Americans are happier, because not everyone posts will post throughout the day. Will you see most high school students that are home on summer break post at 6 AM? No. He/She will most likely be asleep. However, they will be up later. Similarly the people that get up at 5AM to prepare for work are less likely to post late night because they are asleep. If you aren't tracking individual users throughout the day, then you aren't saying Americans are happier during the day... you are saying people that post at time X have more positive tweets than those that post at time Y.

In the midwest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922388)

Life's just one big shit sandwich up here in the midwest.

Begue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32930112)

It is Northeastern, not Northwestern :)

Mondays (1)

MadGeek007 (1332293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32973574)

They must have left out Mondays.

Beer for breakfast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999868)

That map looks like my liver in the morning.

So Insomniacs Are Unhappy? (1)

Philomage (1851668) | more than 4 years ago | (#33007500)

I notice the unhappiest tweets are in "the middle of the night" and the happiest are around the time most people wake up (or about when they've finished eating dinner).

So... people who can't sleep for some reason make unhappy tweets? I wonder why? And people who have just awakened from a refreshing night's sleep are happy?

Hate to sound like one of those "this is so obvious" people, but this is so obvious.

Mississippi (1)

ChrisK87 (901429) | more than 4 years ago | (#33017158)

Anyone else notice that the state of Mississippi was red for the entire video? Guess I'd be upset too if I had to live there...

West coast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33019254)

It's weird that the west coast which is PST (GMT -8) would be 3 hours behind the east coast which is EST (GMT -5).
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