You don’t need a spate of scientific papers to tell you the temperature outside affects your mood, and it certainly wouldn’t surprise you to find — as several studies have — that really hot days make you angrier than normal.
But when it comes to your social media self, it turns out that mood trigger is flipped: scientists at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney in Australia have announced that, online, it’s actually cold weather that’s more likely to get your temper boiling.
The scientists based their research on an analysis of 74.2 million tweets on Twitter from 2015 to 2017 in the Australian state of New South Wales. They found a 10-day average of 3,354 angry tweets per day during the coldest days, compared to an average 2,482 per day over the 10 hottest days.
Aside from the cold weather insights, they found that, outside of social media, the relationship between weather and Twitter users on hotter days had an ominous inverse.
“As daily maximum temperatures rose, assault counts increased while angry tweet counts decreased,” the researchers wrote in the journal Environment and Behavior. “Angry tweet counts were inversely associated with assaults, with an increase in tweets signaling decreasing assaults.”
The study found angry tweets were more numerous during cold weather, but hot weather was associated with more violent incidents away from the online realm.
When considering the study, it’s important to note that