Proof From Twitter Research: Floridians Happier Than Rest of the Bitter Nation
A group of researchers from Harvard and Northwestern Universities have compiled three years worth of data from Twitter to take a snapshot of the mood of the nation over the course of the day. The results are visualized state-by-state, and what seems striking is that compared to the rest of the nation Floridians seem to be pretty damn happy all the time.
Not only did they analyze the sentiments we collectively expressed in 300 million tweets over three years against a scholarly word list, these researchers also mashed up that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Google Maps API and more. What they ended up with was a fascinating visualization showing the pulse of our nation, our very moods as they fluctuate over time.
The researchers have put this information into density-preserving cartograms, maps that take the volume of tweets into account when representing land area. In other words, in areas where there are more tweets, those spots on the map will appear larger than they do in real life.
Here's a timelapsed illustration of the data: Greener shades represent happier moods, while redder shades represent more sour feelings. What's amazing is that Florida never dips into the three darker shades of red that represent serious sourness.
The Sunshine State seems to get mildly sad during 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (work day complaints?), but never gets as down as the rest of the nation.
We seem happiest between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again from about 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.