New Yorkers are cranky tweeters

A study that used data from Twitter to track mood across the nation has been getting a lot of attention online today. New Scientist has a good overview of the study, which was headed up by researchers at Northeastern University.

Of course, we were curious about our area of the country. And we gotta say, from what we can tell, the results are not warm and fuzzy.

Basically, people in New York aren't happy. Pretty much all the time. The collective mood of the state tops out around 6 am in the morning when it flirts with happiness -- and it's a slide in the mad reds the rest of day. That morning peak is seen across the country (the low point of the day is noon), but nationally there's a rebound in the evening. Not here.

There are a bunch of caveats to this study. It only tracked people who use Twitter (are cranky people more likely to tweet?). The method used for detecting sentiment is rather blunt. And, locally, it's very possible a bunch of cranky people in New York City are drowning out the volume from the rest of the state. (This post has a little more about the methodology.)

But a study published in Science last year reported that people in New York have the "lowest satisfaction with life" of any state.

One more conclusion from the study: the least happiest day of the week is Thursday. Grr.

The video above is a timelapse visualtiion of the whole country over the course of an average day, looped twice. Green is happiest, red the least. The warping of the geographic areas represents volume of tweets (this sort of map is a called a cartogram).

Earlier on AOA:
+ The unhappiest state?
+ New York is for neurotics


That is fascinating. You're probably right that NYC is making the entire state look miserable.

But now that I think about it, I guess I'm more inclined to share a bad experience on Twitter than a good one.

My tweets this week, for instance: power outage and Red Ring of Death. Hmm.

Love this. And call me cranky, but too many obnoxious, cheerful tweets make me want to stab people. I

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