Researchers in Vermont created a tracking tool they call theHedonometerthat counts positive and negative words on Twitter.
They believe they can use this information to determine the collective happiness of a region as well as pinpoint seasonal happiness. They track how often positive words (like hahaha, love and happy) are used compared to negative words (like die, no, homework) to determine how joyful we all are.
Looking atthe chart, its heartwarming to see the spikes in happiness around Christmas every year and smaller spikes for Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Thanksgiving. Its also surprising how obvious the sad events are like the death of Michael Jackson or the Boston Marathon Bombing.
There are all kinds of issues with the science behind this tool given that people on Twitter will often use negative terms in a positive way. For example, That hot yoga class was sick! Ill be back for more punishment tomorrow, no way I can miss another class! would have scored 4 negative words when the in-the-know reader can clearly see they loved the class.
The same argument can be made for the other side (especially when you account for sarcasm). If we assume the faults cancel each other out, then the chart shows our general happiness has been in decline since 2009. Booo.
Looks like we need to Tweet happier thoughts if we wanna turn this thing around! Here are a few ways to make that happen.
Pick Positive Prose. Its very common to speak in the negative and switching to the positive can behardan empowerment opportunity. Be more conscious of your words and activelyseek out the positive ones. It can change their affect on others and shift your thinking (and mental state) to the positive. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Skip the Sarcasm. Disguised as wit, sarcasm is often veiled insults. Its negative and uncomplimentary and we believe youre above it. We really do. That wasnt sarcasm!
Make Every Day Christmas.The reason the hedonometer spikes on holidays is because we go out of our way on these days to wish people well. What if we all started our social media day with a wish of love and happiness? Happy Friday, Merry month of May, peace, love and a fabulous day to all of you!
Spread the Love.Twitter is all about interacting with people so celebrate those who are picking up on the positive vibe. Retweet optimistic messages and show your support for blogs, businesses and causes that are doing good in the world. Share your appreciation and gratitude, Become the Queen of Kudos.
Get Outta Here. Another interesting observation the scientists made was that the further people were away from home, the happier their tweets were. So, go on, get outta here go explore or take a vacation. And if you cant, try taking a mental vacation.A beach is only a few ohms away.
We cant wait to see your super joyful, lucky, party tweets full of hahaha and love (@ us your happiness at@tuja_wellness).
Lets #TweetHappy and spike that hedonometer.