Daily Management Review

Twitter Measures Your Happiness


A new study on social media finds the difference between happy tweets as oppose to dissatisfied tweets.

A group of scientists believe that an individual’s tweet can be used as a yard stick to measure his happiness. The team used data from Twitter to “measure users' life satisfaction, a component of happiness”.
The study takes into account how a user fell about life over a longer period of time, instead of accounting for momentary happiness. Yang and Padmini Srinivasan got together to mine “data from about 3 billion tweets from October 2012 to October 2014”. Their data collection was limited to “only first-person tweets” that used words like "I," "me," or "mine".
An algorithm was developed to “capture the basic ways of expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction with one's life”, whereby they found that on a long term’s spectrum people maintain a steady “happiness and satisfaction with their lives”, which does not get affected by any external circumstances like “an election, a sports game, or an earthquake in another country”.
The said study provides contrast result, in comparison to previous “social media research on happiness” as the latter concentrated on “short-term happiness” which is subject to daily moods that wavered at every external circumstances.
As per Srinivasan:
“The findings are consistent with traditional social science research on subjective well-being”.
The researchers grouped Twitter users in two categories based on their expression of “satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their lives”, whereby they found that one group consisting of “satisfied users” were more active users who used Twitter over a longer period and incorporated hashtags in their tweets along with “exclamation marks, while there were “fewer URLs”.
On the other hand, the users were dissatisfied tended to use more “personal pronouns, conjunctions, and profanity in their tweets”. Furthermore, the research also accounts for “differences in satisfied and dissatisfied users' psychological processes”.
According to TOI:
“Dissatisfied users were at least 10 per cent more likely to express negative emotion, anger and sadness and to use words such as "should," "would," "expect," "hope," and "need" that may express determination and aspirations for the future.
“They also were more likely to use sexual words and to use them in a negative context”.
However, the other group of people, meaning the satisfied users used more positive emotion “especially related to health and sexuality”, while they also used ten percent more likely words “related to money and religion”, while dissatisfied users used ten percent more words that related to “death, depression and anxiety”.