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

BqcMUJ0CcAAuJrS

2 Shot at Apartment Complex, Police Find Suspect Dead

Update 8:30 p.m.: GPD has reported that Gerald Hall has been apprehended. Updates as they are available. Earlier: Update 10 a.m., June 19: GPD is now seeking another suspect in the shooting. Gerald Hall, 43, is wanted for questioning for [...]


For The Women Released After Arrest of CPA, Recovery Just Beginning

A well-known Alachua County accountant has been charged with three counts of human trafficking for keeping women in captivity, offering drugs in exchange for sex and house cleaning.


Group Expanding Investigation into GRU Fee Tax

Seniors vs. Crime is now looking into taxes on gas and water surcharges collected by Gainesville Regional Utilities. The group was previously only investigating a complaint about a tax on electric customer charges collected by GRU.


The fee controversy centers on whether the 10 percent municipality tax should be assessed on the electric customer charge. See the complete GRU bill breakdown.

City Responds to GRU Complaint on Fee Tax

The City Attorney and attorney representing Gainesville Regional Utilities have concluded the tax on the electric customer charge is justified.


The new Fisher House located at 5106 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605. Just across the street from the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center

New Fisher House will Provide Lodging to Veterans’ Families

The new Fisher House in Gainesville will allow families of veterans undergoing treatment at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center a place of comfort during treatment.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments