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How a Wedding Engagement Changes Twitter Feeds

Becoming engaged changes how one engages on social media.

A Georgia Institute of Technology study found people change their online personae after they announce their engagement on Twitter.

Credit: Georgia Tech News Center

A Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) researcher has studied engagement on social media, focusing on the phases people experience as they transition from singles to couples in society.

Munmun de Choudhury, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Interactive Computing, followed nearly 1,000 people on Twitter who used "#engaged" to announce their engagements in 2011, examining each person's tweets in the nine months before the engagement and 12 months afterward. She reports tweets with the word "I" or "me" dropped by 69 percent after they got engaged, and were replaced with "we" or "us." The use of familial words such as "future in-laws" and "children" rose 219 percent after the proposal.

Choudhury also notes women tweeted about their significant other by using words tied to emotion, such as they "love" their "wonderful" fiance, while men were more likely to use physical descriptors such as "sexy," "beautiful," and "gorgeous" fiancee.

Moreover, the study found tweets using future-tense verbs, which shows a focus on the future, rose 62 percent after engagement.

"Twitter can be a powerful tool that can mirror our thoughts and how we're actually feeling," de Choudhury says. "This isn't based on what they told us they did. It's a reliable record--it's what they actually did."

From Georgia Tech News Center
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