Outside work, I’m an avid user of Twitter – finding it a great way to keep in touch with my geographically-diverse friendship group, especially when I’m off travelling for work. (I’m a more recent convert to Facebook, too, and I’m still rather wrestling with the relative roles of the two systems).
I was therefore fascinated to read of a recent study by sociologists at Cornell University, reported in the New York Times:
Drawing on messages posted by more than two million people in 84 countries, researchers discovered that the emotional tone of people’s messages followed a similar pattern not only through the day but also through the week and the changing seasons.
- crested around breakfast time (6 a.m. – 9 a.m.)
- fell off gradually until hitting a trough between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
- then drifted upward, rising more sharply after dinner.
“This is a significant finding because one explanation out there for the pattern was just that people hate going to work. But if that were the case, the pattern should be different on the weekends, and it’s not. That suggests that something more fundamental is driving this — that it’s due to biological or circadian factors.”