Posted by: Shanie Matthews | February 19, 2010

Facebook Studys United States Happiness Level

Facebook has become an active participant in practicing happiness. Well at least monitoring it and translating it into statistical data, that is.

According to Facebook, “Every day, millions of people share how they feel with the people who matter the most in their lives through status updates on Facebook. These updates are tiny windows into how people are doing. They’re brief, to the point and descriptive of what’s going on this week, today or right now.

Grouped together, these updates are indicative of how we are collectively feeling. Measuring how well-off, happy or satisfied with life the citizens of a nation are is part of the Gross National Happiness movement. When people in their status updates use more positive words–or fewer negative words–then that day as a whole is counted as happier than usual. (To protect your privacy, no one at Facebook actually reads the status updates in the process of doing this research; instead, our computers do the word counting after all personally identifiable information has been removed.)

The graph contains several metrics. The first, GNH, represents our measure of Gross National Happiness. The other two, Positivity and Negativity, represent the two components of GNH: The extent to which words used on that day were positive and negative. Gross National Happiness is the difference between the positivity and negativity scores, though they are interesting to view on their own.”

I am personally pretty excited to see the results from this new application. We, as a society, can learn much about how our mood affects others. Maybe with actually seeing real time emotions in graph form, it will help us connect on a more cerebral level, assisting in the understanding that happiness truly is a choice.



  1. That is pretty fascinating! Yes, those results will be pretty interesting!

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