New year resolution: Quit my horrible job?

As the new year rolls around, many of us make resolutions with hopes to become a better version of ourselves in the upcoming year. There are classic examples like quitting smoking, exercising more, and spending more time with the family (maybe mine ought to be writing more, starting with this not-so-important post), but a somewhat surprising goal might be on a lot of people’s minds: quit my job.

I collected about 9,300 tweets that were tweeted between December 27th, 2020 and January 3rd, 2021 that contained the sentence “quit my job.” After collecting this data, I ran a sentiment analysis using Bing Liu’s opinion lexicon (available in tidytext package in R) to calculate the sentiment score for each tweets. Sentiment scores are computed by adding up all the number of words in a tweet that fall into the “positive word” category and subtracting that by the number of words in a tweet that fall into the “negative word” category (positive and negative word categorizations are determined by Liu’s opinion lexicon). So if the score is >0, it indicates that the text generally contains positive sentiments; if the score is <0, the text generally contains negative sentiments.

Here’s what I found from my quick-and-dirty analysis

We would think that when people talk about quitting their jobs, it would be filled with negative emotions. However, you can see that the tweets have generally positive sentiments, especially around January 1st. What this might mean is that even during this horrible pandemic that is having such a negative impact on household income and the economy, people would be happy to leave a job that does not satisfy their needs, and they are happy to talk about it around the new years.

Now, probably the best conclusion to draw from this is no conclusion–we need to analyze more data, carefully analyze the contents of the text to fully understand the context of the tweets, and analyze if there are moderating factors (do tweet contents vary across gender, socioeconomic status, and so forth?). We’ll look more into it, so if you’re interested, please stay tuned.

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