Posted November 24, 2014
If you’re posting social media comments on a bad weather day, be careful about venting and being negative. That’s the advice of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, who discovered that people’s remarks are more negative when the weather is less than ideal.
Analyzing posts, tone and weather
Using a word classification system called the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count, researchers analyzed millions of Facebook entries over three years. Next, they matched up the weather to determine the impact of weather on people’s posts.
They found that on a rainy day, people wrote more negative posts, and their attitudes were contagious. Their friends who reviewed the comments joined in and wrote posts in the same negative vein, even if it wasn’t raining where they lived.
In another study, researchers at Cornell University explored the effect of Facebook comments on people’s moods. Previous studies showed that positive people often associate with others who are optimistic and upbeat, and grouchy people hang around with others who are grumpy.
After analyzing Facebook posts and people’s reactions, Cornell researchers concluded that people who express an upbeat mood in comments and experiences they share on Facebook, tend to create a positive disposition in family and friends who read their entries.
Although the University of California study focused only on the effect of rain on Facebook posts, researchers next plan to explore how emotions expressed in comments and blogs affect readers on other social media channels.