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Twitter Tracks Moods and Mayhem

by Employee ‎09-30-2011 02:35 PM - edited ‎09-30-2011 02:44 PM

weekly roundup.jpgAre you grumpy when you first wake up, feel better after breakfast, slow down in the late afternoon and then perk up a bit before bedtime?  If so, you’re like just about everyone in the world, according to a Cornell University sociology study of 2.4 million people in 84 countries.  No matter what the person’s ethnicity, culture, location, religious beliefs or upbringing, it seems that we share underlying circadian rhythms that influence our moods.


And how this study’s authors come to this conclusion?  By tracking Twitter posts.  Four hundred messages from each of 2.4 million Twitter users for about two years, to be exact.  Messages were analyzed for positive and negative tone, including usage of positive and negative emoticons.


And guess what?  The study also concludes that people’s moods are lowest at the beginning of their work weeks and peak during their days off.  To that, I say, “duh!”


Call me cynical, but I think most of us could have told all of this to Columbia for free – and it would’t have taken us two years to tell them.


People in Mexico are making a far more serious, in fact, life-or-death use of Twitter.  In the wake of increasing drug-cartel-related violence in some areas of Mexico, certain states there have made it illegal to use social media to cause panic by spreading false rumors (for example, saying schools are under attack when they’re not, which causes mass hysteria).  However, people in parts of Mexico are using Twitter to warn others of marauders, crimes underway and other dangerous situations so that people can steer clear of those areas of town. 


According to a New York Times report, more than four million Mexican citizens use Twitter and 95 percent of the 30 million Internet users there have profiles on Facebook, making social media a logical tool for mass communication.  Many Mexicans now trust Twitter more than local news outlets, which have become compromised by corruption or killings.  Citizens have to be careful, though.  People have been murdered by thugs for “snitching on the Internet.”


Lets count our blessings that most of us here use social media for fun, for business, or for staying in touch.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

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