Grumpy Facebook friends make bad moods go viral a new study claims

Researchers have linked grumpy Facebook status updates with feeling sad - meaning online interactions have a negative effect on our mood.

A new study suggests the feelings created by a depressing face-to-face chat are similar to those felt when gloomy Facebook statuses are posted.

A team from the University of California looked at billions of anonymous posts from between January 2009 and March 2012.

They focused on just posts - and not comments - about bad weather.

Negative posts increased by 1.16 per cent in response to the poor weather and positive posts decreased by 1.19 per cent.

When the researchers analysed the posts of people whose friends lived in an area with brighter weather.

The results were surprising.

For every negative post an additional 1.29 sad posts were generated among individuals' friends.

It isn't all doom and gloom though.

Thankfully, happy posts had more of an influence and they generated an additional 1.75 positive posts among Facebook friends.

The authors wrote in online journal Plos1: "These results imply that emotions themselves might ripple through social networks to generate large-scale synchrony that gives rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals.

"New technologies online may be increasing this synchrony by giving people more avenues to express themselves to a wider range of social contacts.

"As a result, we may see greater spikes in global emotion that could generate increased volatility in everything from political systems to financial markets."


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grumpy Facebook mood online interactions University of California