Apparently, there is a Facebook application that measures "happiness". What it does, in reality, is to analyze sentiment of status updates via tracking the ratio of positive vs. negative words in people's status updates. Here's a description of the project:
"Every day, millions of people share how they feel with the people who matter the most in their lives through status updates on Facebook. These updates are tiny windows into how people are doing. They're brief, to the point and descriptive of what's going on this week, today or right now. Grouped together, these updates are indicative of how we are collectively feeling. Measuring how well-off, happy or satisfied with life the citizens of a nation are is part of the Gross National Happiness movement."
The problem is that people don't very often say negative stuff there. It's such a downer, and no one wants to be friends with constantly negative people. I guess. Then, negative stuff tends to be private (more than positive ones). We keep them to ourselves and share only with the closest friends.
Then, there's also a question of how to interpret results. Is the graph above showing that people indeed are the happiest around Thanksgiving (family time, yay!) or that they are simply wishing each other "Happy Thanksiving!"? I assume the latter is the case.
But not a bad start. Data indeed can tell stories. And offer better insights into people's behavior, too. Someone should make this for Twitter.