How do you #relax when you’re #stressed? A content analysis and infodemiology study of stress-related tweets.

08/11/2017

Doan S, Ritchart A, Perry N, Chaparro JD, Conway M. (2017). How do you #relax when you’re #stressed? A content analysis and infodemiology study of stress-related tweets. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance. 3(1): e35. doi: 10.2196/publichealth.5939

Researchers examined how Twitter users discussed stress and relaxation on social media by aggregating and thematically analyzing tweets containing stress and relaxation related hashtags. Tweets were categorized by the context of the tweet as personal experiences or secondary experiences (e.g. second-hand experiences, links) and thematic content. Researchers further broke down thematic content of tweets into stress symptoms, topic of stress, and actions taken in reaction to stress. Relaxation-related tweets were categorized by the topics of relaxation in the tweet. Researchers also used geotagging of tweets from Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco to analyze content by city. Researchers analyzed 1,326 stress-related tweets and 781 relaxation-related tweets. Stress-related tweets were most often about the topic of stress, with education as the most common topic. Cited response actions to stress were more often adaptive (e.g. exercising) than maladaptive (e.g. drinking). Relaxation-related tweets were most often about rest and vacation. In the full data set and in analyses by city, people tweeted more about stress than about relaxation. Researchers also used their sample of tweets to train a machine learning algorithm to correctly identify stress- and relaxation-related tweets.