When you're standing in line at Starbucks and ready to hate on the guy ordering the half-caff triple macchiato with soy milk to the Twittersphere, well, it might just be time to put the phone down. Because chances are, your phone's enabling you to be a terrible person.
But really, a new study published in the Journal of Communication suggests that you're more likely to unleash 140 characters worth of negativity, personal anguish, complaints, narcissism, and other undesirable egocentric things if you're tweeting from your phone. Specifically, the study finds that tweets posted from mobile devices are 25% more negative than those posted via your computer, according to a report by TIME.
You know who you are. Ever whipped out your phone while stuck on your city's awful public transportation system to tell the authorities -- and everyone else -- how you really feel about being late to work? Or what about that time you publicly shamed a restaurant or airline while you were still seething with anger after a bad experience? Everyone knows social media is where you go to publicly vent, but the study also finds that the tweets you post from your phone are also more egocentric.
“Because everything has become more mobile, it’s reflecting more of what we’re doing in the moment,” the study's author, Dhiraj Murthy, told TIME. “Some of the thoughts we had before that we weren’t communicating are now coming through our mobile devices, and there’s a certain egocentric bias emerging from it.”
Murthy and other researchers analyzed more than 230 million tweets posted over a six week period in 2013 by Twitter users in North America, then looked for word associations to ultimately form a personality test of sorts, according to the report. They also discovered peak times during which people were at their most negative -- early in the morning before work and late at night after work. The time with the lowest levels of your awful tweets? Sunday mornings, because we can all put our problems aside for the sake of a good brunch, right?
Maybe it's time to try tweeting about the nice things that happen during the day, guys. #nah #ugh #somuchagony #emo
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and tries to keep his complaining on Twitter to a minimum. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.