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Twitter Says Americans Are Happier In the Morning 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the 140-character-science dept.
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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Twitter Says Americans Are Happier In the Morning

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  • I'm happy all day long.

  • by locallyunscene (1000523) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @10:18AM (#32913140)
    Now where's my grant money?
    • 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.

      • by geekmux (1040042) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @10:35AM (#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.

        • by selven (1556643)

          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.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        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.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        Huh? How is that common sense? Intuitively you'd think people are happier AFTER work than before it. I know I am.
        • Intuitively, could you agree that people are generally happier when they are NOT at work?

          They said Early morning and Late evening.

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

  • I'd hate to see them in the afternoon.
  • Louisiana, the Dakotas, and New York seem to be pretty unhappy all day long.
    • by e2d2 (115622)

      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.

  • 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?

    • by ShadoHawk (741112)
      Delaware seems thrilled most of the time. I guess because it's a small state with no sales tax and some gambling!
  • Am not. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 2010 @10:33AM (#32913438)
    Fuck twitter. I hate mornings.
  • 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.
    • And these stories are written by those morning people.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by Rufty (37223)
      Morning people are dumber. [psychologytoday.com]
    • 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.
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @10:37AM (#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!

    • by patjhal (1423249)
      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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Why are the states so disfigured in that video?
  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @10:53AM (#32913812)
    They are almost always green. Must be the nice weather, beaches, and a getting to see people in swim suits all day.
    • I take it you don't live here :P
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by e2d2 (115622)

      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.

      • 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,
    • by djconrad (1413667)
      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.
    • 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

  • Duh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135)

    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.

  • It's that little bit in the middle where you're at work that just seems to crush your soul a little bit.
  • Coffee in the morning (wheee!) and alcohol in the evening (wheee!).
  • ... or does this mean the people on the west coast are a lot more sarcastic?
  • No wonder to me why morning and night are the high points. Coffee and booze.
  • Michigan remains angry throughout the entire day.
  • If the west coast was inconsistently 3 hours behind the west coast we'd have bigger problems to worry about.
  • by Rooked_One (591287) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @12:36PM (#32915140) Journal
    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.
  • 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 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.

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

    Wait. I don't want to know.

  • ...when idiots in America stop twittering.
  • 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 Amer
  • They must have left out Mondays.
  • 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.

  • 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...

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