Twitter Reveals Humanity’s Mood Swings

People everywhere tend to feel chipper at breakfast, get grumpier over the course of the day, and brighten again before going to bed. That is the central finding of a vast new study of Twitter users, which may be even more significant in establishing social-networking sites as “the foundation of a new social science,” Harvard University sociologist Nicholas A. Christakis tells The Washington Post.

Researchers at Cornell University tracked the changing moods of 2.4 million people in 84 countries over two years by analyzing their tweets. Using special software, they searched some half a billion posts for words that indicated positive feelings, like “awesome” and “fantastic,” or negative feelings, such as “panic” and “fear.”

When they graphed the results based on the timing of the posts, they discovered a universal daily pattern: Happiness peaks around breakfast, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.; falls to a low between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and then rises to another high after dinner. The same trend holds true on weekends, when most people aren’t at work. The study, the first to track the emotions of so many people across cultures, suggests that innate biological rhythms play a big role in our moods.

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10 Words That Describe How the Internet Empowers Us

The existence of the Internet has had an immeasurable effect upon how we, as a society, view and access the world. No other device, service or outlet has achieved what the Internet has in broadening the awareness of all those who have taken part in its offerings or have been uniquely affected by those who do. There is a ‘power’ within that cyber-world that is accessed by a few minor finger-clicks on a keyboard; and it’s a power that is unmatched.

1. Accessibility - Whether in the comfort of my own home, on a plane, on the beach or huddled in the corner at my favorite coffee shop, the Internet is there and available to me. With the advent and subsequent development of tangible, reliable wireless services, the Internet is accessible from nearly any location on the earth.

2. Diversity - The menu of information, resources, interest is only limited by my own imagination to access such things via the Internet. Somewhere in that cyber-world there lays the answer to my queries or the exact need to pique my contemporary whim; and retrieving these things is incredibly simple to do.

3. Anonymity - Whether I’m communicating in a forum, chat room, or simply conversing with some cyber-friends I can do this in a manner that wholly suits me. I may choose to don a disguise for the day, type while in my pajamas—whatever–I can communicate, unabated by normal social standards or protocol.

4. Engagement - The choice is all my own as to whether, or not, I choose to engage with the Internet. It is there for me to use whenever I feel the need, or want, to do so. It demands nothing from me and is my dutiful servant.

5. Exploration - The Internet permits me to satisfy any curiosity that I may bring forth. Whether I’m researching news events, historical accounts, or the mating behaviors of the kiwi, the availability of this information is always there.

6. Uninhibited - Unlike traditional forms of research resources, the Internet doesn’t keep any hours of operation. It is always available to me, regardless of time or day.

7. Entertainment - Along with all the wealth of knowledge available on the Internet, it also includes all manner of entertainment. The entertainment can be accessed as an onlooker from your monitor portal, or it can be participatory for those of a more exhibitionist nature. The Internet has become a stage upon which anyone can gain access.

8. Economical - The cost-effectiveness for vendors in publishing and advertising on the Internet has profound influence on how I choose to shop or market for services. With time always at a premium and travel expenses at an all-time high, I am able to research, evaluate and even purchase products via the Internet and have them shipped directly to my home.

9. Enrichment - Given the plethora of quality information and resource on the Internet, I am able, and empowered, to delve into social, economic, political and entertainment interests at a level that suits me best.

10. Communication - The true beauty, to me, of the Internet is that I may choose to communicate with virtually anyone, and to do so in real time. I don’t have to wait for the postal service to deliver my correspondence. I can send a note, request, solicitation or resume to anyone; and this communication is delivered in milliseconds. I may also befriend and socialize with those whom I’ve never met, or would ever have a chance to know, on the other side of the planet. The Internet enables me to keep in touch, more effectively and much more effortlessly.

Special thanks to my friends at for submitting this blog piece :-) Communications and enhancements of our personal lives have never been more attainable and easier with the use of the Internet; and with it, we are truly rulers of our private domains.

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Why Reading is Better in Print

Print, it seems, better enables editors to perform an “agenda-setting function,” said Jack Shafer at

"I canceled my subscription to The New York Times a few years back," said Jack Shafer. "I wasn’t disappointed with the Gray Lady’s coverage; I just found it more convenient to get my news from the newspaper’s excellent website. But less than a year after my Times cancellation, I was paying for home delivery of the newspaper again. Despite spending ample time on the website, I failed to notice many worthy stories; I also found I couldn’t recall much of what I’d read."

“My anecdotal findings about print’s superiority have been backed up by a new study: Oregon University researchers found that readers of the Times’ print edition remembered significantly more stories, facts, and ideas than online news readers. Print, it seems, better enables editors to perform an agenda-setting function—the use of placement, prominence, and type size to signal what’s most important. When you read online, meanwhile, you’re frequently interrupted by intrusive ads and the need to click through to second and third pages. I’m no luddite, and I like the Web and the iPad. But for real reading satisfaction I still reach for the print editions. What do you think?

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