You may already be familiar with the term Big Data, datasets that are so gigantic that special computational methods are required to analyze them. But how about some “little data” for your pleasure? The frequency analysis pictured above, for example, is from Alice Zhao, who wrote this fun post titled “Text Messages Change from Dating to Marriage.” Below the fold is an extended excerpt:
To celebrate our six year (wedding) anniversary, … I took a look at all of our text messages from our first year of dating and compared them with our text messages from the past year as an engaged couple and then newlyweds. I started by looking at the words we used in our text messages six years ago versus present day …
Our conversations changed from “hey, what’s up?” to “ok, sounds good”. We stopped saying each other’s names in our text messages. We don’t say in “love” as much anymore. Several words stayed relatively consistent over the years though, such as “home” and “dinner”. I took a look at the actual text messages that contained these words, and found that although the terms stayed the same, the context they were used in actually changed over time.
The main difference is that while we were dating, we didn’t see each other every day, so a lot of our communication had to happen via text. We’d often message the other person to see what they were doing or tell them that we were thinking of them. As a married couple, since we’re together all the time, we set up date nights and say sweet things to each other in person, so texting is mostly used to confirm logistics or share random thoughts.
Hat tip: The Amazing Cliff Pickover.