Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Red State or Blue?

First of all, this has nothing to do with politics...or maybe it does. It's about happiness, and while the two are not as mutually exclusive as they might seem in the current state of affairs, I'm generally disinterested in the duality of "you vs me" instead of "us" that politics has devolved into on a seemingly permanent basis.
Back to happiness. Researchers at the University of Vermont decided that they would like to know where the happiest people live and how they described that happiness; so, like so many other demographics studies, this one turned to social meda: Twitter, to be precise. Researchers studied 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 and tried to determine whether or not the tweeter was happy. Judgments were based on occurrences of more than 10,000 words used to indicate a happy or unhappy mood. The results were then analyzed using the Mechanical Turk Language Assessment (who knew?) on a scale of 1-10. After crunching the numbers, researchers found some not-so-surprising results:

Happy people tended to use words like "LOL," "ha ha," "good," "nice," "sleep," "wine" or words that were beach-related.
Less satisfied tweeters more often used terms such as "mad," "hate," "boo," and "smoke."

People with a higher income tended to tweet words like "cafe," "sushi," "brewery," and "banana."
while those more economically challenged favored words like "McDonald's," "wings," "ham," and "heartburn."

People who lived in coastal areas tended to tweet happy more than those who were landlocked.

Urban areas that were highly technological seemed to have more unhappy users of Twitter than less "developed" urban centers.

I know you've waited with bated breath to find out where the moving van is taking you next week so you'll be happy. First, let's discuss where NOT to move.
The five states containing unhappy users of Twitter are Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan, and Delaware. As a sidenote, the Cajun state zoomed to the top primarily based on the proclivity of its Twitter users to use profanity.

The five top states for happy tweeting are Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah, and Vermont.

You can make up your own reasons why, but keep this in mind: only 15% of people in this country use Twitter. It would stand to reasont hat smartphones have jumpstarted the tweet explosion. Thus, the study does NOT reflect the demographics of this country; so, think twice before loading the van.


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