How Happy is Twitter Today?

hedonometerFrom the same folks who brought you the research on story shapes I discussed last month, comes a real-time readout on the Happiness of Twitter (click for daily update). Some observations are really obvious:

  • Saturday tends yield the happiest tweets of the week.
  • Either Tuesday or Wednesday tend to be the saddest days.
  • Christmas is the happiest day of the year. Other notably happy days include Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day, and Mothers’ Day.
  • Highly publicized terror attacks and shootings yield sad tweets.

Other observations are more subtle. For instance there also appears to be a six or seven year oscillation in the overall emotional trend on Twitter. Since the complete data series only covers seven years, this is hard to confirm. Overall happiness has been trending down over the last six months. Here’s a plot for the past 18 months. Click through here for the latest daily update and to examine other periods and time spans.

TwitterHappiness08-13-2016

In a recent paper, Hedonometer researchers Emily M. Cody, Andrew J. Reagan, Peter Sheridan Dodds, and Christopher M. Danforth argue that their data set enables public opinion polling. They suggest that current Twitter attitudes regarding President Obama predict his job approval three months in advance.

Obama Hedonometer Approval

In any event, this is an interesting tool for looking at the public mood on a daily basis. You can follow the Hedonometer researchers on Twitter for their latest results: @hedonometer.

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