After analyzing the feeds of just under 2 million tweets from 16,000 Twitter users, social scientists have determined that Christians on the social network platform exhibit more happiness and optimism than atheists.
In order to gather their samples of each group, the researchers went to the source: for the religious Christians, they found the followers of Pope Benedict XVI, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and evangelical author Joyce Meyer. For the atheists, the followers of Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), and the late Christopher Hitchens (God is Not Great: How Delusion Poisons Everything), as well as other outspoken and prolific skeptics.
Christians, they found, are more likely to use words like “love,” “happy” and “great”; “family,” “friend” and “team.”
Atheists win when it comes to using words like “bad,” “wrong,” and “awful” or “think,” “reason” and “question."
And curse words and sarcasm and the names of Lars von Trier movies.
The researchers say the typical Christian Twitter user chooses "gut-driven" language based in the certainty of their faith, while atheists' rational thought "diminish[es] the capacity for optimism and positive self-illusions that typify good mental health."
Yeah, wondering daily why the human race even exists doesn't exactly want to make you Tweet a :DDDDD. Bear in mind, though, that the people selected are extremists on both sides. There are less militant agnostics as well as Christians who don't necessarily follow the Pope on Twitter.