WUFT News

Study ranks Gainesville 242nd happiest city in U.S. through tweets

By on March 1st, 2013

By Sean Stewart-MunizWUFT contributor

Gainesville is the 242nd happiest city in the nation, according to one report which analyzed social media.

The study, published last week by University of Vermont researchers, analyzed tweets to map the moods of urban areas.

Researchers collected 10 million geotagged tweets in 2011 in 373 urban areas.

Gainesville ranks 20th in Florida for happiness, ahead of Tallahassee and other landlocked regions, but behind coastal cities like Miami and St. Augustine. The study found coastal cities tend to be happier than inland urban areas.

Jordan Meyer, director of communications and marketing for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, said Gainesville’s ranking seems too low based on his experience with its residents.

Meyer said a study like this is inaccurate and subjective in judging happiness.

“Happiness is a tough thing to judge,” Meyer said. “You need a credible source; with a study like this it’s not exactly scientific.”

Tweets were judged by the individual words they contained. Words were ranked on a happiness scale from one to nine, with the most positive words scoring the highest. Word frequency was measured and put into a formula to determine the general happiness of a city.

Words such as “lol,” “love,” “beach” and “congratulations” scored positively, while profanity and words like “arrested,” “crying,” “headache” and “unemployment” scored negatively. “Rainbow” and “earthquake” were some of the highest ranked for happiness and sadness, respectively.

According to the study, Gainesville’s most frequent happy words were “lol,” “Florida” and “love,” and its unhappiest words were “don’t,” “can’t” and “no.” Gainesville’s tweets also contained less profanity than the national average.

The study found Beaumont, Texas, is the last on the list, and Napa, Calif. is at the top as more cheerful than any other city.

Florida’s overall ranking was 14th happiest in the nation, with Hawaii in the lead and Louisiana trailing last.

Bruce Floyd, social media specialist at the University of Florida, said the study might not adequately represent happiness because it doesn’t judge the context of the tweets.

Floyd said someone sourced from a foreign country might not have the same humor or sarcasm as someone from the United States and could judge a word differently than its intended use.

He also said the study depends entirely on an individual’s tweeting tendencies. A person could rush to post about having a bad day but could be more reserved about his or her more positive emotions or vice versa.

Juanita Colorado, freshman anthropology major, said the large population of students in Gainesville and the stress related to school probably accounts for why Gainesville was ranked so low in the nation.

“When you look around, people seem to be pretty happy,” Colorado said. “But I guess they might tweet differently.”


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

IMG_1999

Tornado Damages Homes Near Ocala Monday

More than 50 homes were damaged in two separate neighborhoods southwest of Ocala Monday afternoon as severe thunderstorms rolled through.


Cars drive past the filled-in potholes and cracks. Permanent road repairs are not expected until after July 2016. Ronnie Socash / WUFT News

No Immediate Fix for SW 62nd Boulevard Road Conditions

Despite continual repairs to Southwest 62nd Boulevard, commuters will still have to drive along the road’s potholes and “alligator cracks” until it is reconstructed in 2016. Once a project development and environment study is completed, the city of Gainesville can work on a $45.2 million project that will turn Southwest 62nd Boulevard from a two-lane road into a four-lane road.


UF football player JC Jackson was arrested yesterday for his involvement in an armed Robbery on Saturday.  He is currently in the ASO jail on a $150,000 bond.

UF Football Player Arrested After Armed Robbery, Released On $150,000-Bond

University of Florida football player J.C. Jackson has been released on $150,000-bond. Jackson was arrested Monday after turning himself in for his involvement in an armed robbery.


Scott Camil, 68, points to a cartoon depicting himself and other members of the Gainesville Eight at their trial. The original cartoon was given to him by the artist, Bill Day. The Gainesville Eight was the name given to a group of anti-Vietnam war protestors charged with conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami.

Vietnam War Veteran Rejects Violence, Embraces Peace

Vietnam War veteran Scott Camil once believed the war to be right and honorable. Now, Camil is the founder of Gainesville Veterans for Peace, an organization that partners with other organizations around the area to promote peace.


David Cleveland sits outside his tent in Dignity Village near Grace Marketplace Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Cleveland's campsite is located on a 10 acre span of land that the city of Gainesville will lease from the state.

City Aquires Land Surrounding GRACE Marketplace

The city is finalizing an agreement to use 10 acres of land currently occupied by Dignity Village homeless encampment which could create a more regulated environment.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments