Scientists Study Social Media for Signs of Depression: Should Twitter Be the Basis for Research?

Living 2013/05/04 14:00:00
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More than any other barometer in modern technology, Twitter seems to have its finger on the pulse of society. The sites’ trending topics wrap up the hottest in popular culture in a hashtag-fueled bow. But now Microsoft wants to use the social networking site’s data to do a serious study to spot post-partum depression by examining Twitter feeds. Researchers believe that indicators include what women are saying, whether or not they’re retweeting and if they are engaging in one-on-one interaction with other users.

Not surprisingly a lot of research has already been done based on Twitter stats. Scientists have observed that the human race is sadder from observing tweets. They’ve noticed that people who wake up in a good mood in the morning, tend to go to sleep with the same disposition. Researchers believe that everyday experts’ posts carry more weight than those of the rich and famous. And yet another examination of info proposed the theory that tweeting makes people dumber because they don’t have to recall as much information as they used to.

While the objectives of all of these reports seem altruistic, the source of the data might raise some eyebrows. What do you think: Should social media be used for serious scientific studies?

Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/smartphone-just-diagnosed-po...

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  • The Third Reich 2013/05/08 06:38:59
    The Third Reich
    I don't know if it should be the basis, but I am aware that there are proven studies which say they can increase depression.
  • mae 2013/05/08 04:10:13
    Facebook is the place to start.
  • revbh 2013/05/07 23:37:22
  • morris44 2013/05/07 16:13:27
    This is very interesting.

    I heard of something similar on NPR. Sociologists have been studying letters and correspondence of citizens over the last 200 years and find them to be invaluable at monitoring the emotions of the people.

    I think this is a great idea.
  • Gothic Angel 2013/05/07 03:06:14
    Gothic Angel
    I had depression before twitter was fore thought. They just want anything to blame don't they.
  • kayla Gothic ... 2013/05/07 14:25:15
    I see it as a social network is an easier way to express yourself with no body judging you and it someone were to study your post they could see if you were depressed or not cause i have been depressed before and instead of telling people I posted it so I would have to say, Yes.
  • J.MaisOui 2013/05/07 02:02:25
    Amanda's on there a lot,and she seems depressed enough-poor baby.
  • ☠ Hitsugi 2013/05/06 20:46:14
    ☠ Hitsugi
    Why not? If it's been proven to work, I don't see the problem.
  • Bill 2013/05/06 19:22:50
  • Jimm 2013/05/06 18:31:57
    Because it is not a true reflection of society! People say things on Twitter, Facebook, etc that they don't mean....take on personas that aren't anything like who they really are...and act out! I think it's silly.
  • Common Sense Conservative 2013/05/06 17:58:28
    Common Sense Conservative
    Twitter and doing a study on it sounds rediculous.
  • gsusgod 2013/05/06 16:03:41
    All Kardashian social media sites should be the basis for depression research.
  • Carlo 2013/05/06 15:29:08
    Yes and kids having smart phones as well. The changes to our society has been to great too fast.If there is nothing to worry about then it will show in the results.
  • TerryAgee 2013/05/06 14:00:26
    They will sell the data to pharms who only want to be your med supplier.
  • Andrew 2013/05/06 12:27:07
    I would say yes, but sometimes many should learn to write; as least in cohesive language to be taken seriously. I don't quite understand hash tags and all the mumbo jumbo posting that goes on the site. I haven't checked on Twitter that much, but for depression, I would like to post sometimes, from that hardly anybody will listen in person. Some counselors listen, but most of them are programmed, only for the status quo of society generally.
  • Norm 2013/05/06 11:54:10
    I don't have a twitter account and I don't need one. I can manage without them.
    I deal with problems directly. I have no depression....
  • nicholas.wright.9809 2013/05/06 09:50:50
    I use Twitter to unearth factual stuff, but nothing as complex as depression. The whole subject is too "soft" to lend itself to research, and as others have said, too many variables. I'm not saying the experience of depression is soft, far from it.

    It's hard enough to interpret gnomic 140-character utterances, let alone base research on them; some people when you disagree with them will just say it was a joke, haha, and you never know what register the person was actually in when they tweeted.

    Do the research if you like, but let's have a debate about how valid it is.
  • Sara 2013/05/06 09:22:32
    All I can say is this; an acquaintance from London posted a series of status updates on FB that concerned me. I wish I'd done something when I had seen them, because a few months later he was dead from a drugs overdose.
    One can usually tell a person's mental state from what and how frequently they post. Social media may be easy to mock, but it is a form of expression, and any form of expression can be used to gauge and evaluate human behaviour.
  • ZirconiumWit 2013/05/06 05:47:37
    Research might have to be taken with a grain of salt, but if a test done in person is generally repeatable with Twitter, I fail to see what the problem would be.
  • jooba 2013/05/06 05:47:22
    everyone would be diagnosed with bi-polar disorder because we all can have more than one online personalities
  • Rockne1865 jooba 2013/05/06 15:10:21
    Yeah & the next thing you know they won't be able to own pressure cookers!
  • Tony 2013/05/06 03:27:36
    If they focus on Twitter, then their results won't reflect the larger picture that is social media.
  • Jenjenajenjen 2013/05/06 02:50:40
    I don't care.
  • Joe 2013/05/06 01:18:03
    I would have to say it should be last on the list reason being people purposely attempt to be shallow when they tweet I would think Facebook would be a lot deeper into one psyche
  • zsa zsa 50 2013/05/05 23:26:00
    zsa zsa 50
    Too many variables, how do they know why post-partum women are not using their twitter feeds? If it's not done in conjunction with some type of human interaction with the twitterer, I don't see how it would give accurate information about depression.
  • akPhilly 2013/05/05 22:42:27
    The basis? I don't think so, I mean, if they're researching connections between pretty much anything and social media, they should include the other social media sites as well. Especially if they're going by hashtags, which other sites use, plus hashtags are just getting ridiculous anymore & not even what they intended to be-like people use it as a dumb joke, like, ' I just took a massive dump on the toilet!,#epic dump', or something like that, or it'll be like, 'Eating pizza right now,#pizza, #hungry,#pepperoni,#Luigi's,#... there will be a zillion dumb hashtags and it's just ridiculous.

    Now,I can see how Twitter is making people dumber. You'd be amazed on here how many people, especially younger people, that will make some smart a** remark to people when their answer is say, a small paragraph. Like if its any longer than however many letters is allowed in your average tweet they think it's just way too long. Like I'm sure to alot of people, this would be considered heavy-duty reading.
  • freddie morley-kirk 2013/05/05 22:21:47
    freddie morley-kirk
    If you want to do a study of social media you need to study more than just one website(twitter) so you can get more realistic findings.
  • ♣♦Fuckface♥♠ 2013/05/05 19:24:25
    No way, just check out the entire Tumblr community
  • Brooke ♣♦Fuckf... 2013/05/05 21:36:35
    Tumblr is for hipsters and fandoms. it is a beautiful place as long as you stay away from the hipsters.
  • Magicwriter 2013/05/05 17:35:20
    I Love Twitter! I Love reading David Archuleta post's on that site. DON'T TAKE AWAY TWITTER! LoL :P
  • teamboobooseth 2013/05/05 16:43:05
    You cant tell emotions over a computer
  • harasnicole 2013/05/05 16:03:34
    If you're going to use Twitter as the basis for anything, use it to research how many crazies are on the site. For example, Beliebers.
  • dBrown 2013/05/05 16:00:35
    that's an absolute yes!absolute
  • alex 2013/05/05 15:01:31
    It depends, to see how it effects people. We all know people on social media want nothing but attention so its no wonder they might be depressed in real life because they don't get the kind of attention in the real world that they'll get from strangers on the internet.
  • PurpleShirt 2013/05/05 14:48:31
    OMGoodness! There are SO many phonies on any social network, who could get any accurate "scientific" results??? I honestly don't know if I should laugh or cry!
  • Xinea 2013/05/05 10:41:36
    It's not that I think every suicide confession on the internet is a sham. My second year of high school, there was a boy who posted his last words on Facebook. But I don't believe (for the most part) that the internet would be a consistent indicator of depression. I know when I was feeling depressed I was terrified of putting anything out there with my real name on it. I did not want people who knew me to know anything about what I really felt. So yeah, the case isn't the same for everyone.
  • Nitasha Johnson lol 2013/05/05 07:04:40
    Nitasha Johnson lol
    There's too many variables to consider before you could even make a reasonable judgment on anything.
  • PandahSixx 2013/05/05 06:51:20
  • Indigo Mood 2013/05/05 06:31:20
  • alex chi Indigo ... 2013/05/05 22:00:54
    alex chi
    That hardly fair were not all between asylum stays, some if us are out for good!

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