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Finding happiness in tweets written near and far from home

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Twitter Android 4.0 App Update
Twitter Android 4.0 App Update

If you tend to stay close to your home and workplace, you might have fewer happy tweets than your far-traveling friends. The analysis comes from a University of Vermont team that studied geotagged tweets to determine trends in happiness based on a person's location. The researchers watched the increase and decrease of positive and negative word usage, such as love and hate, as people travelled farther from their most common locations. They found a general decrease in negative word use both at locations farther from a person's normal areas and for people who generally moved around more. The words that decreased in frequency include "hate," "mad," "no," "don't," as well as a variety of more vulgar terms.

Though traveling farther away decreased the negative content in a tweet, being closer to home in some cases increased the use of positive words. Terms including "love," "haha," and "lol" were found to be used more commonly used when a person was close to home. While the researchers note that those who travelled frequently were more likely to have a higher standard of living, their findings also apply to people who simply deviate more from regularly visited locations such as their house or office. But heavy travelers' increased happiness might not make their Twitter feeds better to follow: they're also more likely to be tweeting about their meals.