Is Twitter Showing We're Depressed?
Happiness is a virtue. Right?
Apparently, the "world-wide" happiness quotient is in a state of decline, at least according to a reseacher and his team at the University of Vermont. They crunched over 46 billion Tweets since 2008 and plotted them in terms of "happiness" words, (by the day of the week).
The results? Surprising.
Below is a link to the study:
So what does this all mean?
Herbert Blumer, a pioneering sociologist, spent his entire life studying human interactions, including the theory that what we see shapes the mind and our responses.
Blumer identified symbolic interactionism as an activity unique to humans. It’s a process where social interaction and interpretation forge meanings we have for things around us. Outside influences such as the media, economic environments, the body language of others, stereotyping, and the amount of empathy we receive (micro-scale social interactions) all play a role.
This study about the word usage on Twitter validates Blumer's hypothesis.
For one, it shows a distinct correlation with economic woes and tweeted content. As the economy in Europe and the US has stagnated, the content of tweets has grown more dismal. It's striking to see this because it demonstrates the social analytics that mediums such as Twitter can provide. Ample fodder for social scientists, and a valuable tool for industries that offer a means to perk up the doldrums!
Fret not—there's a new year coming in ten days, and with a little gusto we might be able to reverse this trend. I promise to do my share of RT's of happy content :-)
So...what will you do to raise the cheer on Twitter?
You never know how widespread it might become. As Herbert Blumer postulated, what goes on around us sinks into the reservoirs of our mind and changes how we think—and Tweet.
John Serpa is a motivational speaker, and the author of LiNK: The Fascinating Ways Our Minds Connect. He's passionate about sparking creativity and innovation by helping organizations move from transactional to transformational. Serpa resides in Chicago, IL, and in his free time, enjoys producing techno music and storm chasing. His weekly blog is @ www.johnserpa.com.
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