In which part of the United States do you think people say “I love you” the most? I was curious about this, but since I can’t eavesdrop on every conversation (I don’t have any friends in the NSA.. that I know of) I decided to take a crack at answering the question using Twitter data.
Not all Twitter data is public, but there are plenty of public Twitter accounts, and you can look at the data and run your own analysis. (see technical notes below)
What did I discover? First off, the state with the most tweets saying “I love you” (adjusted for population) is… Hawaii! Aloha! Who wouldn’t be full of love in the land of sun and sand?
Next up, Maine, and.. Kansas?? I didn’t think Midwesterns were so expressive!
And the state with the least number of tweets, per number of people? That’d be West Virginia. Poor West Virginia! I’ve driven through there and I have to admit all that highway construction would probably make me less likely to feel the love, too.
If you’re wondering who people are declaring their love for, 3% of all the tweets were for Justin Bieber. He beat out all the guys in One Direction, as well good ‘ole Mom and Dad! (Moms got more ‘I love you’s than dads did, by the way.)
I’m not going to call this an incredibly scientific study, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless.
Technical notes: To get my Twitter data, I used Ruby (TwitterStream gem). You need to have a Twitter developer account. Once I had my raw data, I ran it through KNIME, a free data analytics tool, and finished up with more Ruby scripts. The map comes from Google Maps templates (also free). My Ruby code is available in GitHub (username cpearl42).