In a novel attempt to measure fluctuations in public sentiment, researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute recently analyzed the emotional substance of more than 600,000 tweets associated with locations in New York City during a two-week period in 2012. They found, just to give the gist, that people tended to be in a high spirits when they were near public parks, but that transportation hubs (e.g., Penn Station) brought them way down.
On the basis of the tweet data, the single happiest place in the city was determined to be Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights. The saddest? A high school.
So I guess this means that if you’re a high school teacher in New York and your commute takes you through Penn Station or one of the major traffic tunnels, you may as well start looking for a good therapist now ...
(It should noted that there’s an important qualifier to the findings: Apparently the data were collected at a time when the students at the school were just returning from a vacation, so their negativity may have been more pronounced than usual. But still.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.