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The Atlantic Monthly reports that Facebook is keeping tabs on the national mood via its Gross National Happiness Index. It “counts the number of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ words used in each status update, converts them to percentages, finds average percents based on all users that day, then subtracts the ‘negative percent’ from the ‘positive percent’ to get a value for the y axis—but the results are clear: Weekends and holidays are better than midweek, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day ’09 recorded more happiness than ’08 (probably because more celebrating moms and dads had Facebook pages in ’09.) And the bottom line: Despite a deepening recession and prolonged wars, Americans seemed to be happier in 2009 than 2008.”
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