Researchers finding social trends with social media

(NBC) - Using social networking sites like Twitter, a pair of colleagues at Cornell University are studying mood patterns around the globe.

At any given moment, someone, somewhere is tweeting information about what they're doing or feeling. The tweets go into cyberspace, where they are recorded into a massive archive of what makes us tick.

The study includes users in 84 countries and uses a computer program, developed by the pair, to analyze half a billion tweets.

"That's why Twitter specifically was such an attractive venue to start to study behaviors and emotions over the course of time," said Scott Golder, a graduate student in Cornell University's Department of Sociology and member of the research group.

The program looks specifically for words like "happy" and curse words to measure moods, along with emoticons like smiley faces.

They found distinct patterns of mood that were consistent around the world.

"People generally wake up in a good mood," Golder said.

People generally start the day refreshed from sleep and happy, but moods slowly deteriorate over the course of the day, presumably because of work.

The tweets also revealed a universal need for relaxation.

"On Fridays, people start talking about happy hour a lot more and they also start talking about it a lot earlier in the day," Golder said.

Positive attitudes generally rebound at night before people fall asleep.

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