Alan Mislove and team at Boston’s Northeastern University analyzed public tweets posted between September 2006 and August 2009 in an effort to guage the general mood of people based on geographic location. The team used trigger words with generally positive and negative sentiment to indicate “mood” concentrations and illustrated the data in this totally awesome infographic:
As you can see the east coast is quite bummed out (red) while the west coast is joyfully tweeting their elation to the world (green). This probably doesn’t come to much of a shock to anyone that’s spent time in either region but I love that we can back it up with [a healthy portion] of data. Also it supports my theory that here in the northeast the most common way people initiate conversations with strangers is by finding something they can mutually complain about (weather, transit delays, BU students).
Things to note:
- This is only displaying the mood of people who chose to express emotion on Twitter (certainly a subset, albeit a larger one)
- New York is almost always among the most negative of states whereas Boston doesn’t seem to shade fully red at any point
- The original article notes “and across the country happiness peaks each Sunday morning, with a trough on Thursday evenings” which seems to be the opposite sentiment of those 20/30 somethings who choose to support their local watering holes on a weekly basis
- There can be some very interesting observations to be made when looking at “mood” vs. time of day and the number of twitter users living there (illustrated by the size of each county)
What do you think this tells us?