Want to feel happier? Your location may be affecting your emotions, according to millions of Tweets
KYOTO, Japan — Would you like to feel happier? A new study of millions of tweets shows it all boils down to that age-old real estate adage — location, location, location. Researchers say that our physical location affects our emotions. A team in Japan analyzed nearly two million Twitter posts from people in the cities of London and San Francisco, examining which events and places are associated with different emotional states.
In both cities, tweets from train stations, bridges, and other transportation hubs tend to express less joy and more disgust. Meanwhile, tweets from hotels and restaurants show higher levels of happiness.
Certain events also lead to certain emotions. In San Francisco, on Women’s March Day 2017, users showed the highest levels of anger, disgust, and sadness. In London, users showed higher levels of anxiety and sadness during two local terrorist attacks.
On New Year’s Eve in both cities, researchers saw greater joy on Twitter. The team used computational tools called neural networks to examine the tweets of more than 200,000 people in the two cities. A neural network is an artificial intelligence method that teaches computers to process data similar to the human brain.
They analyzed when people expressed anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, or trust. However, the researchers advise caution when it comes to generalizing their findings. One reason is that only English-language tweets were included in the study.
The team hopes these findings can help pave the way for further fine-grained research to inform urban planning and tourism.
“Our study shows how it is possible to represent the properties of fine-grained emotions at a detailed spatial and temporal level across the city using publicly available data sources,” study author Panote Siriaraya of the Kyoto Institute of Technology says in a statement from SWNS.
The data will be published in the journal Plus one.
Commuting is the worst no matter where you live
It’s no surprise that emotions are at their lowest when people are close to major commuter hubs. A 2020 survey of 2,000 Americans who regularly drive to work found that a third of respondents typically feel excited or stressed before they even arrive at the office. In fact, 27 percent of Americans make it a habit to complain about their daily commute.
If you’re looking for a city to live in and most of the time make you happy, look no further than StudyFinds. According to experts, Honolulu, Hawaii is the friendliest city in the United States. You can see the rest of the list here.
South West News Service writer Alice Clifford contributed to this report.