Facebook, which has an enormous saturation rate and where many people openly share their feelings, has put its repository of post data to interesting use.
In an admittedly somewhat dated exercise, the social media giant scanned thousands of status updates to determine what users in each state seemed to say they were thankful for.
In essence, Facebook analysts searched for the terms “thankful” and “grateful,” then took some extra steps to comb for the subjects of those feelings.
Importantly, Facebook did this research at a time when a presumably Thanksgiving-themed “Write 3 things you’re thankful for over the next 5 days” challenge was going around, which added to the post load and potentially skewed the numbers in one way or another.
Overall, users across the vast expanse of Facebook claimed to be most thankful for family and friends, or any of a number of variations thereof (children, husband, etc.).
The social media site then went a step further, though, and determined the most distinctive things people from each state were thankful for — that is, the thing people from a given state are disproportionately thankful for compared to people in other states.
Here in Maine, it turns out, we don’t take our beautiful coastline for granted.
That’s right, Mainers are thankful for “living near the beach.”
Really, New Hampshire? Netflix?
Looks like the folks in Alabama and West Virginia have some things they need to get off their chests. And is the housing crunch really that bad, New York?
It’s perhaps worth pointing out for data clarity’s sake that the overwhelming majority of these status updates — 90 percent — came from women.
“There are a number of explanations for why this might be,” the Facebook research team theorized. “Women may be more likely to participate in [“List 3 things”-type] challenges such as this; women may be more likely to nominate other women than men; women may be more willing to share what they are grateful for on Facebook; etc. To be clear, we think it is unlikely that women are actually more grateful than men.”
The Facebook analysis also looks into some demographics behind these numbers, offering color-coded charts of what people at different ages and genders are thankful for.
Overall, other people are most likely to “like” status updates expressing thankfulness for “sobriety,” “recovery” and “wife,” in that order.
What are you thankful for? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or share them on Facebook, where, who knows, they might be compiled into a future research project.