A few weeks ago as I drove 388 miles south along I-25 between Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico I heard a story on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered about human behavior and social media that peeked my interest. It was a timely delivery of a story because it gave me something to ponder in my boredom.
Did you know social scientists are studying the mood of the planet through individual’s activity on Twitter?
Rises and falls in biochemicals which affect circadian rhythms may have something to do with how we feel throughout the day. Scientists say by reading an individual’s tweets, they can follow people’s mood changes throughout the day. There is a rise in positive tweets first thing in the morning and then late at night .
If the research proves to be correct, pollers and marketers will find this information valuable – “as a great way to get a pulse of what’s going on in the country,” says Scott Golder at Cornell University. Golder and his colleagues look for positive and negative words used in the tweets such as “awesome, outgoing, pleasing” or negative kinds of feelings such as “afraid, fury or fear.”
Do you think reading people’s emotions through their activity on Twitter is constructive or destructive or just a time waster? In my opinion, also tracking seasonal differences in atttitudes would make the research more credible because seasonal affective disorder has very real symptoms.
I’d like to hear from you about the validity of a study about Twitter “tweets.” Post a comment.
This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.