Facebook Gettin’ Your Mood Down?

Facebook is almost a necessity in most people’s lives. With millions of people online showing off their lives via photos, videos and friends, it’s no wonder people can get down on themselves. Studies done by Yale, University of California and Facebook shows that moods can be spread viral through social media such as Facebook.

FBThe studies were done by collecting millions of users data from Facebook, specifically on the effects of rainy days. From these studies they suggested that from every single person affected by rain, two or more other people would also get the same impact.

“What people feel and say in one place may spread to many parts of the globe on the very same day,” wrote the report’s authors. They also suggested that the data reports “online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony”.

facebook-front_179_2232542bBut they also discovered that positive emotions spread faster than negative ones. Researchers have always known that face-to-face emotions can spread quickly, but now there is data that can suggest that social media can do the same. The researchers who were Facebook employees at the time analyzed the emotional content of billions of updates posted to Facebook between January 2009 and March 2012.

The test specifically looked at updates during times it was raining. From their data they discovered negative Facebook posts increased by 1.16% and positive posts decreased by 1.19%. Next they looked at the friends of the people who posted the negative posts impacted by rain, but who lived in cities where the weather was not necessarily as bad.

The results showed that every sad post increased an extra 1.29 more negative posts than normal people among friends. But looking at the opposite emotion, every happy post had a stronger impact, so if a user posted a upbeat status another 1.75 positive posts would occur because of it.

“These results imply that emotions themselves might ripple through social networks to generate large-scale synchrony that gives rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals,” wrote the authors of the report. “New technologies online may be increasing this synchrony by giving people more avenues to express themselves to a wider range of social contacts. As a result, we may see greater spikes in global emotion that could generate increased volatility in everything from political systems to financial markets.”

These studies are proving the wave of the future and explanation for so many young users having a spike in depression and self body issues. Hopefully with more studies like this, we will be able to help younger users coming into the social media world and prepare them for the wild roller coaster to come.


4 thoughts on “Facebook Gettin’ Your Mood Down?

  1. This is all very interesting. Every social media platform really has its own personality and a certain community that rallies around it. Some social media sites like reddit can be very harsh to my understanding while other platforms such as vine tend to be more positively geared because influential members of the community promote support and friendliness. Tumblr has a sensitive community that struggles with body image issues and the community has a tendency to beautify eating disorders and self harm. Tumblr has since changed their terms to prohibit certain postings and if you search certain tags they display a content warning and offer contact information for support lines. I think this was a good move on Tumblr’s part. It doesn’t adamantly stamp out the unhappy aura of the community but it begins to push it in a different direction. People are social creatures who influence each other. Social Media sites need to be aware of the tools they are giving people and what type of impact it will have on the way people act.

  2. I’ve seen this affect since FB begun. I use to say to myself why do people put so much of their personal emotions and feeling on a FB post. Me personally I don’t want to see that information unless its a really close friend and it’t about something I should be concerned about. People put a lot of happy post which are great but the personal depressing post are the ones that can ruin another persons day. Saying a post like “I’m fat, no one likes me and I don’t know what to do” is a depressing post especially for others out there feeling the same way! On the opposite hand post like “I don’t care that I’m fat because I know I’m beautiful and that’s all that matters” is an example of a good post, positive post!

  3. This has always been an issue with facebook I’ve hated! As we discussed in class, everyone has those friends that constantly complain on facebook. It drives me nuts wen people use facebook as their personal journal. I love reading statuses that are funny, or interesting, or exciting, but NO ONE likes reading complaints. People hate complainers in really life, so why would they feel differently online? I don’t know if sad statuses really make me feel sad as well, but more so annoyed. I think that facebook does a good job of handling this issue by giving you the ability to hide certain people’s posts. I know once I start getting annoyed with people I immediately just hide their posts. This has resulted in most of my newsfeed being positive the majority of the time 🙂 Definitely a good tool to utilize to prevent this problem!

  4. Interesting post. I think social media can mess with one’s moods. I know there have been times when I would see something on Facebook and get excited and happy just because I saw it there and got to read and see images about it as well. But then there are times that I got upset because of someone status or news stories I have read on there. I guess it all depends on how well you can handle your emotions and how easily you can be affected by others.

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