BLAISE TAPP: Twitter study shows we're a nation of larks

From an early age we are taught that people are one thing or another: good or bad, old or young, Leavers or Remainers or morning or evening people.

Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 9:50 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:50 pm
It's 6am and we're all fizzing... well, aren't we?

Like most reasonably sensible people, I tend to stay away from sweeping generalisations, unless I am referring to fans of Southampton FC or men who wear socks with sandals.

But sometimes the labels prove to be as accurate as Harry Kane's right foot, especially when they are backed up by science as has recently happened with the sleeping habits of the United Kingdom. Boffins, another lazy tag, at Bristol University believe they have settled the argument that nobody has ever had and managed to prove once and for all that we are indeed a nation of larks.

It might be hard to believe for anyone who lives in a house with a small person but apparently we are happier at the start of the day than we are at the end.

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Experts in artificial intelligence and medicine believe they have all the proof they need after spending four years trawling through Twitter and analysing 800 million tweets. The very thought of anybody immersing themselves in any social media platform for that length of time, let alone Twitter, is mind boggling.

Twitter is the 21st Century equivalent of the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland but rather than take your seat at the maddest of tea parties, it is more than likely that you will drive yourself mad reading inane musings from virtue signallers and semi literate racists.

So hats off to the researchers who dedicated four years of their lives to reading the drivel that people write when they really have nothing better to do and it actually appears that they may have gleaned something interesting.

During that period they poured over seven billion words from people living in 54 UK cities and, by using a series of indicators, they established that we are at our most logical at 6am and tend to be more emotional during the evening.

It is quite telling that users of social media are at it before most of us have paid a visit to the smallest room or had the first of six mugs of coffee a day. An occasional morning tweeter myself I do see the appeal of sharing one's thoughts after a good night's sleep because, once the rigours of a working day take hold then it highly unlikely that a sensible thought will enter most of our heads.

In my experience, most people will feel compelled to take to social media at night when there is something either in the news or on the telly that has stirred them into life. Angry tweets tend to be a thing later in the day.

Some will be appalled that academics choose to study a nation's mood by what people post on social media but what we bash out on our phones is the modern day version of cave paintings and we should accept that these insight are invaluable.

Personally I am not convinced by the study's findings because I am just as useless first thing in the morning than I am last thing at night.

But, if it is true, that we are at our sharpest before the milkman has been, then there could be real food for thought for bosses everywhere.

I suppose that depends on whether or not you believe in academic studies.