The authors report that the average happiness score first declines slightly for distances of around 1 km (0.62 miles) – the kind of distance expected for a short commute to work – and then rises steadily with increasing distances of up to several thousand kilometres. What’s more, individuals with a larger typical roaming radius use happy words more often – a result that probably reflects the higher socioeconomic status of such jet-setting types.
So it seems we’re least happy at work and most happy when we are farthest from home. At least, that’s the case for the roughly 15% of American adults who use Twitter, or to be even more cautious, for the English-speaking subset of those who chose to ‘geotag’ their tweets. One key question is whether this sample is representative of the population as a whole – Twitter is less used among older people, for example. It’s also an open question whether expressions of happiness in tweets are a true indicator of one’s state of mind – are you less likely to tweet about your holiday when the weather is awful and the family is fractious? But such quibbles aside, you might want to consider that costly flight to Bermuda or Kathmandu after all.