What are Americans thankful for? A new study of our Facebook posts offers some insight.
Facebook Data Science sought to learn what Americans are thankful for, according to their Facebook posts. The study examined “a set of anonymized English status updates that contained ‘grateful’ or ‘thankful,’ as well as the word ‘day’ preceded or followed by a number. These status updates were then aggregated and processed by a text-clustering algorithm so we could identify what people were grateful for.”
Overall, Facebook users are most likely to post that they are thankful for their friends, followed by family and health. Topics such as “job” and “the roof over my head” also made the top 10.
When posts were separated by gender, men were most grateful for their wife, and women were most grateful for their husband and children. The top 10 topics for men included “football” and “the internet” and the top 10 for women included “wine” and “fur babies” [pets].
Facebook also analyzed what residents of each state report being thankful for. The map reflects what topics are most associated with each state, not what was most frequently posted.
Weather and geography are reflected on the map. Residents of southwestern states such as Arizona are thankful for rain, and residents of coastal states such as Florida and Maine are thankful for “living near the beach.”
Bible Belt states are thankful for things like “mercy,” “god’s forgiveness,” and “salvation.” Utah and Idaho are thankful for the “heavenly father.”
Indiana and Colorado are thankful for “freedom of speech” and Oklahoma is thankful for “work ethic.”
Websites also make an appearance on the map: California, Delaware and Virginia are thankful for YouTube, Vermont for Pinterest, New Hampshire for Netflix and Kansas for Google.
Ironically, Facebook itself doesn’t appear on the map. According to the results of the study, “Facebook was mentioned more often than any other form of social media and uniformly enough to not show up on the map for any particular state.”
The topics in statuses that received the most likes include “sobriety,” “recovery” and “wife.”
The researchers also examined how age affects what Facebook users post about, and the frequency they post about the same topic.
According to Facebook, most users whose posts were analyzed identified as 28-55 years old on their profiles, and 90 percent identified as female.