Twitter users have a pattern: Critical during the day, apprehensive by night

A recent study by University of Bristol’s Nello Christianini and his team of researchers found a pattern in the style of thought of Twitter users.

Twitter is a news-max platform, and thank God for that. The platform has seen a lot of high profile exits from its team in the past few years, but it has managed to maintain its USP with a lot of influential people. These users consume a lot of information on the platform, not daily, but on an hourly basis.

But, the question today is, does this say something about the user too?

Apparently, if you are Nello Christianini, you will see a pattern in the way Twitter is used by us. Specifically based on what you tweet and the words you use.

Christianini is a computer scientist at the University of Bristol.

First reported by Wired, in a study published in the latest issue of PLOS ONE, Christianini and his colleagues looked through some 800 million tweets and about 7 billion words, that were published on Twitter between the year 2010 and 2014. This sample was taken across the 54 largest cities in the UK and was aimed to study what tweets and its words could reveal about the ways users think and feel in a day.

Christianini writes in his study saying, "I don't want to know what specifically individual people are discussing. I want to know if I can measure trends in psychological states from a massive, textual time series of tweets." Essentially, he wanted to understand the way we, as a society, think as the day progresses and if there is a common pattern among all of us.

These patterns don’t just base the moods of a user, Christianini says the mood is just a little part of the research. He aimed at a more cognitive process of concerns and interests. It reflects on the style of thought.

Christianini’s team’s research paid attention to the analytical thinking by a user, which apparently correlates with frequent use of nouns, articles, and prepositions. Interestingly, the team found that users are more analytical with what they tweet in the day, along with an increased concern with things like power and achievement.

Later at night, however, users are dominated by existential thinking. The researchers even specify that at around 3:00 am, positive emotions are at their lowest, and topics like death and religion peak.




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