18 Feb Using Facebook for happiness!
Nailing our happiness colours to the wall
Happiness. Love. For most of us these are all lovely notions, floating in balloons of abstraction in the stratosphere; limited to art more than science. Measuring these thing looks like too hard basket material. But more and more that’s exactly what we try to do. We want to know who is happier? When are we happier?
Just when this is about to give us a headache, social media comes once again to save the day. The US National Happiness Index, landed on the shores of Facebook, will let us know for certain the peaks and troughs of positivity and could be a new frontier in “happiness science”. It analyses anonymously the words used by US users in Facebook status updates and assesses their positivity and negativity, giving us a pretty graph of how the US is feeling on any given day.
The Facebook data team is even using the index to assess who is happier. After Valentine’s day, the team analysed questions of love, including whether people in relationships are more likely to be positive. According to Facebook, the result, sadly enough for those lonely hearts, is that those partnered up are generally more happy, and those in a marriage are even happier than those simply “in a relationship”. Curiously those in “open relationships” – whatever that means – are the least happy of all, sadder than even those who list themselves as widowed or “it’s complicated”. If you don’t disclose your relationship status at all, then heaven help you.
The science of happiness is…click here to read more