Sociologists at Cornell University studied updates from millions of Twitter users, analyzing tweets on an hourly and daily basis. After breakfast, moods from Dubuque to Dubai start going downhill.
The sociologists analyzed more than half a million public updates from 2.4 million Twitter users in 84 countries over a two-year period. They divided the updates into groups by hour of the day and day of the week. Then they ran them through a program developed by psychologists to measure feelings. It uses a positive and a negative lexicon that each contain hundreds of words like “happy,” “excited,” “fearful” and “sad.”
“People are most upbeat around breakfast time,” Macy said. “Their mood deteriorates over the course of the day and then rebounds in the evening. Around dinnertime on through the time they go to bed it picks back up again.”
At first the sociologists wondered if this was due to work-related stress because overall moods tended to be elevated on weekends. But they noticed that even then, tweets expressed late-day mood dips, even in the United Arab Emirates where weekends are Fridays and Saturdays.