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Uni more stressful than health or body image: twitter Stress-O-Sphere reveals what we're really worried about


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On the 10 year anniversary of twitter, the website has revealed some insights into the minds of its 232 million active users.

The huge number of tweets sent every day means that companies can conduct huge amounts of research, and gather together statistics on a huge number of topics - from mental health to the popularity of TV shows.

The twitter Stress-O-Sphere captures stress-related tweets to create a visualisation of stress on Twitter. Tracking the most tweeted causes of stress, it uses real-time data to build an interactive ‘stress map’, sorted into different causes and topics.

The website has revealed that 50,000 tweets about stress are posted on twitter every day. That is one every two seconds. It seems as though stress rules over our lives, but what are the details? What really stresses us out the most?

Family, friends and partners are the most tweeted-about stress factors, prompting a post every seven seconds. This makes up 23% of all stress-related tweets. Out of these, family accounts for 13% of all stress-related twitter activity.

Health is another major cause. According to the Stress-O-Sphere, tweets reveal that we are largely concerned about healthy eating, fitness, body image and sleep. Eating is a bigger source of stress for twitter users than smoking, drinking and drugs combined.

So where does student stress fit into all this? 17% of all tweets about stress are work-related, with school work and further education as the cause for 4% of stress-related twitter activity.

University and school stress us out more than our well being or body image - accounting for 10% of stress-related tweets. There are four times as many stressed-out tweets about academic work than there are about any health-related issue. It’s not surprising then that students are well known for their odd coping strategies: from falling asleep on the floor of the library to making ice cream on toast for comfort.

Exam stress is the most frequently mentioned topic regarding school and university. It’s tweeted about nearly 1,000 times a day.

It all makes sense now, doesn’t it? Most students would rather sacrifice money and body image by ordering a pizza than taking an exam.

But, exam season doesn’t last long. So, sit back, have a cup of tea and wait for it all to blow over.

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