Venting negative emotions on Twitter and the number of followers and followees

Yeslam Al-Saggaf, Sonja Utz, Ruoyun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Do people who express negative feelings (loneliness, sadness) on Twitter gain or lose online contacts? To answer this question, the authors tracked the number of followers and followees of people who tweeted about loneliness or sadness twice; once when they expressed the negative feeling and a second time five months later. The authors compared the networks of those users with the networks of others who either simply retweeted tweets about loneliness/sadness or (re)tweeted about the corresponding positive feelings. People expressing loneliness in their tweets, as well as people expressing sadness in their tweets had smaller networks than people expressing feeling loved or happy. This effect held only for the original tweets, not retweets, and was – in case of sad/happy – stronger for the followees than the followers. Moreover, the authors found that people expressing loneliness also had smaller friends’ networks five months later than the people expressing feeling loved, and that the networks of the people expressing sadness became even smaller during the following five months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Venting negative emotions on Twitter and the number of followers and followees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this