Tweet Analysis: Most Common New Year's Resolutions

New Years' Resolutions are an interesting universal phenomena. Some sources suggest that they have been around for 4,000 years! Speaking of resolutions, American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt once mused, “How many of our New Year's resolutions have been about fixing a flaw?”

Is Mr. Haidt right? Do people really focus on fixing flaws, like losing weight, quitting bad habits, and curbing spending? Or, do they focus more on honing their strengths?

There is only one way to find out! Let us look at some sentiment data, shall we?

In this post we are going to use Gigasheet's free online CSV viewer feature to explore some data about New Year's Resolutions. It's simple to use and makes data exploration available to everyone. If you can use a spreadsheet, you can use Gigasheet to find data insights!

Twitter New Year's Resolution Data

Here we have a sample dataset. It is a collection of over 5000 tweets about New Years' Resolutions from December 2015. (The good old days before COVID and before Twitter went bananas.) This database also contains demographic and geographical data of users and resolution categorizations. Let us use Gigasheet to explore this dataset and understand if these New Years’ Resolutions are about flaw-fixing, self-improvement, achieving goals, or something else.

Data dictionary:

This dataset contains the following data fields. The ones in boldface are the ones we will be looking at for this article.

  1. resolution_category
  2. gender
  3. name
  4. text
  5. resolution_topics
  6. retweet_count
  7. tweet_coord
  8. tweet_created
  9. tweet_date
  10. tweet_id
  11. tweet_location
  12. tweet_state
  13. user_timezone
  14. tweet_region

Upload New Year's Resolution data to Gigasheet

Using Gigasheet, you can open this file (and other large files) in just a few seconds. All you need is an account.

(Don’t have a Gigasheet account yet? Get your FREE account here. Or, you can view the dataset without logging in.)

This is how the file looks when uploaded to Gigasheet:

A screenshot of the database 'New Years Resolutions' when opened in Gigasheet

All 5,011 rows, ready to be analyzed!

Now, we are ready to sink our teeth in this vast dataset and get some insight.

What is the Most Popular Resolution?

If most resolutions are indeed about fixing flaws, they must be the most popular ones among the Twitterati, right? So, let us dissect the most retweeted tweets.

To achieve this, we can simply sort the column retweet_count from the highest value to the lowest. Click on the three lines at the right of the column name and select 'Sort Sheet 9 to 1.'

And that's it.

Sorting the new year's resolution dataset by the column retweet_count in descending order

The first row has our answer. This is our most-retweeted tweet with 4,234 retweets.

Now, you can get all the information about this row just by clicking on it. A pop-up appears on the bottom right, detailing all the fields and values. Neat! (You can also drag this box out and expand it to read all the data fields, without having to individually expand each column.)

Selecting a single row about new year's resolutions in Gigasheet

The tweet reads:

RT @TweetLikeAGirI: my only New Years resolution is to not spend money on food I honestly might be rich by 2016.

So, the tweet is about not spending a lot of money. (In a way, it does focus on flaws.) But, what about other tweets in the category Finance? Did everyone want to save money in 2015?

To dig deeper, you can use Gigasheet's Group By feature. So, first we will group by resolution_category and then by resolution_topics. This will result in nested groups like so:

Grouping first by resolution_category and then by resolution_topics

After grouping this data, we can conclude:

  • 176 tweets are about improving finances.
  • Most people looking to be financially healthier want to save more money!

A better way to understand the pattern finance-related tweets is to visualize this data. To achieve this, simply select the cells you want to visualize, right click, and select the 'Chart Range' option. For this example, let us use a pie-chart.

Creating a pie chart of new year's resolution sub-groups in the category 'Finance'
A pie chart generated by Gigasheet that depicts resolutions about managing finances in the new year

Top 3 Finance Related New Year's Resolutions

From the chart, we can easily see that the top Finance related new year's resolutions, excluding other, are:

  1. Save Money
  2. Cash In On My Stock Options
  3. Pay of Bill(s)

Resolutions About Quitting Bad Habits

Did you know that publishers deliberately roll out self-help books during the end of December and the beginning  of January? This strategy is driven by sentiment data. Most people believe in the 'New Year, New Me' mantra, and want to kickstart their self-improvement journey during this time. (More power to them!).  Even in this dataset, you can see that the resolution_category 'Personal Growth' is the most popular with over 1700 tweets!

Most popular category of new year's resolution is Personal Growth

One of the quickest ways to make your life better is by quitting habits that harm you. These can be quitting smoking, curbing overeating, stop procrastinating, or reducing phone usage.

Using Gigasheet's filters, we can filter out the resolution categories which may have tweets about quitting bad habits. Let us pick the following:  Personal Growth, Health & Fitness, and Time Management/Organization.

But wait, our dataset also has a lot of tweets about Humor, so let us cut them out too. So, resolution_category, resolution_topic, and other_topic must not contain the word 'humor.'

(We will come back to them later.)

Gigasheet's filters allow you to use the AND clause and impose multiple conditions. Here is what our filter looks like:

Adding a filter with multiple conditions in Gigasheet on new year's resolutions

Let us fine-tune our filter a bit further. Here are some common words you might find in tweets about quitting bad habits:

  • Quit, quitting
  • Stop, stopping
  • Break
  • Less, fewer
  • Habit

So, we now need to add a condition that the resolution_topic field must contain any one or more of these terms.  Luckily, we can just add these values separated by commas, and Gigasheet will automatically understand what you mean.

Adding this condition to our existing filter, we will get something like this:

Adding more conditions to an existing filter in Gigasheet on new year's resolutions

Do you think this filter is too cumbersome, and do not want to manually add it every time? You can always save it for later and apply it again with just a click. Learn more about saving filters here.

After applying this filter, we see that 318 tweets are about quitting something.

New Year's Resolution Tweets that talk about quitting bad habits

Grouping them by resolution_topics and visualizing them gives us this neat pie chart:

A pie chart representation of tweets about quitting bad habits as a new year's resolution

Top 3 Habit Related New Year's Resolutions

Interestingly, most people would like to quit smoking and social media, but aren't keen on giving up drinking just yet. The top 3 habit related resolutions are:

  1. Quit Smoking
  2. Use Less Social Media
  3. Watch Less TV

New Years’ Resolutions Aren’t My Cup of Tea!

We hear you. (22% of resolutions are broken in the first week anyway.) A lot of folks don’t really take the concept of resolutions seriously anyway, and this dataset proves it. Filtering by the resolution_topics 'Humor about not keeping resolutions' and 'Humor about new years,' we get 175 rows.

And by sorting by the highest retweet_count to the lowest, here we have the most retweeted one of them all:

RT @FreakingTrue: My New Years resolution is simply going to be remembering to write 2015 instead of 2014

Sigh, doesn't this happen to us all? *hastily scribbles away the last digit*

What are your plans for 2023?

At Gigasheet, we want to make 2023 a great year for data analysts, small business owners, campaign managers, and everyone who is interested in playing with large datasets without learning to code.

Gigasheet is a free to use business analytics tool which helps you analyze large datasets without code. No matter the size or format, you can easily view, store, and analyze your dataset with Gigasheet.

Try it for yourself! Sign up for a free account today. Or, check out our data community.

Author bio: Apoorva P is a content lead at Ukti.

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