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As Weather Changes, So Do Social Media Posts

WEDNESDAY, April 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Too hot, too cold, too humid: Weather may influence whether or not people post negative comments on social media, researchers report.

They compared weather conditions in relation to 2.4 billion Facebook posts and 1.1 billion Twitter posts between 2009 and 2016.

And they found a strong association between specific weather factors and either positive or negative posts.

"We find that how we express ourselves is shaped by the weather outside," said lead researcher Nick Obradovich, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

Positive posts increased as the temperature rose to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but fell as the temperature climbed over 86 degrees F.

Precipitation, humidity levels of 80 percent or higher, and high amounts of cloud cover also were associated with a greater number of negative posts, the researchers discovered.

The study was published April 25 in the journal PLOS ONE.

This type of research could provide insight into how weather conditions might affect the tone of social media comments, which can reveal underlying human emotional states, the researchers said.

Also, learning more about how weather affects emotions is important because people are constantly exposed to different types of weather.

"Adverse weather conditions -- hot and cold temperatures, precipitation, added humidity, and increased cloud cover -- reduce the sentiment of human expressions across billions of social media posts drawn from millions of U.S. residents," Obradovich said in a journal news release.

More information

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SOURCE: PLOS ONE, news release, April 25, 2018

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