Study: Feelings On Facebook Spread From Friend To Friend


According to a study from the University of California, San Diego, feelings on Facebook can spread from user to user like a virus. In other words, your friends’ moods can affect your moods, positively or negatively.

As we well know, humans can spread their moods to each other in face-to-face situations. A grumpy co-worker can make you grumpy while a happy significant other can cheer you up. This also happens, wrote the researchers, “among strangers or near-strangers.” But no one had quite figured out if it spread via social media or not. Until now.

Using anonymized data, PhD student Lorenzo Coviello and Adam D. I. Kramer and Cameron Marlow from Facebook looked at English-language status updates over 1,180 days. Using automated text analysis, they assessed the mood and tenor of each post to get the “emotional content.”

What did they discover? First, they found that when it was rainy in…

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6 thoughts on “Study: Feelings On Facebook Spread From Friend To Friend”

  1. I definitely have to agree with many of the other comments. My mood and others moods can be affected in many ways. This is important to remember when working with clients. We may be having a bad day as a therapist but we must not let this affect our client’s mood.


  2. This article is not a surprise to many, but definitely an eye-opener for reminding us that our mood can have a positive or negative affect on others. I feel that when I am around others who are sad or stressed out, I too begin to feel like that myself; I think a lot of people do, though we try not to. Or when I am in a bad mood, I really try not to show it because I do not want to make others feel bad because of the way I am feeling at the time. This is also extremely important when working with clients; face to face or via technology. No matter what is going on in our personal lives, as therapists, it is more important that we elicit a positive attitude for our clients. It is also important that we take care of our own well-being so we are mentally, physically, and spiritually able to help our clients to the very best of our abilities.


  3. I enjoyed this article and can definitely relate. Our negative moods effect others no matter what the situation. Whether you’re working with a consumer, with other students, or just negative around your peers in general. If a friend of mine is in a negative mood, it definitely rubs off on me. Same goes for when they’re happy or excited about something. This is the first time I have heard anyone consider this effect relating to social media. Interesting article.


  4. I can definitely relate to this article. If i’m in a really good mood and my roommate is grumpy or complaining a lot it really effects the way my mood changes. This is important to keep in mind when entering the work place and working with clients. We must keep our personal life at home and demonstrate a positive and pleasant affect when working with client’s in order to encourage the most beneficial outcomes possible.


    1. I definitely agree Amanda! I also notice similar reaction in my life and when I think about it if I am scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and see lots of negative, rude, or sad status updates I find myself entering one of those moods. So it is critical for us as health care professionals to keep a positive attitude around our clients. I find I have to do this in my current job and sometimes it can be difficult but I have to focus on leaving my negative thoughts and feelings at the door when I walk into work.


  5. The content of this article does not surprise me. Our mood and emotions effect others all the time, whether we are face to face, on the phone, or conversing through social media. As professionals, it is important to leave our baggage at the door and be optimistic for each client in order to help them have a better day.


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