You wake up grumpy. You talk with your sister—she is also grumpy. Your coworkers? You guessed it, grumpy. The whole neighborhood appears to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.
Ever notice those days where it seems everyone's feeling a little blah? Or maybe it's just the opposite—strangers are smiling at you appearing similarly happy and refreshed; the communal good cheer is palpable. Is it something in the air? It just may be.
A recent New York Times article described a study by sociologists at Cornell University, which tracked daily mood rhythms through messages posted on Twitter by more than 2 million users in 84 countries. According to the article, “Researchers discovered that the emotional tone of people's messages followed a similar pattern not only through the day but also through the week and the changing seasons.”
Could this explain the unexplainable hunch we've all felt? Or validate that quirky friend who blames all her moods on the cycle of the moon?
“The new analysis suggests that our moods are driven in part by a shared underlying biological rhythm that transcends culture and environment,” says the writer. This implies that there is some universal tug at our emotions: A barometer drop? A full moon? A surge of acts of kindness? What do you think it is?
Whether or not you believe that Twitter is a valid tool for researching moods—or reading people's daily Twitter updates always make you grumpy—you have to admit, the study does offer some good food for thought. I would love to hear what you think.