It seems the happiest state is Hawaii. The grumpiest states are on the East Coast. Some states are mad and they’re not going to take it anymore. And how would we know this? Twitter told us so. In a study of 300 million of the billions and billions of Tweets, researchers sifted the content for happy words and sad words and probably ambivalent words as well. But it’s usually the extreme words that make the news. The happiest words are diamond, love and paradise while the sad words are suicide and funeral among others. It isn’t known where ice cream, coffee and winning the lottery are. Of course there are certainly possibilities for messing with the outcome by Tweeting something along the lines of – I’m not suicidal, or I’m not in love with the idea of diamonds today.
In the big scheme of things such mapping has been used to measure all sorts of data, most notably Netflix movie rental habits by region. Now in addition to knowing what your neighbors are watching, you could also know how happy their Tweets are. Do happy Tweets mean happy people? In terms of the happiness index, it turns out that song titles and lyrics trended downward from the 1960s to the 1990s. Who would have guessed the 60s to be a happy music time? Researcher Sune Lehmann, who spearheaded the Twitter mood studies believes such mood mapping can be used to assess other things, such as the impact of a Presidential address, or public policy. Perhaps some day corporations can test customer mood according to Tweets about a certain brand or specific products.
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