People’s everyday emotions can be tough to pin down, partly because they’re not often given a lot of thought. But a new app is hoping to change that, and produce a snapshot of the whole world’s emotional state in the process.
Through October 16, Spur Projects, a suicide-prevention organization, collected data on people’s daily moods via an app called How Is the World Feeling? Launched October 10 to coincide with World Mental Health Day, the project aimed to aggregate the emotions of around 7 million people over the course of a week, providing real-time mood updates from around the globe.
Users were asked to select from a pool of six possible emotions—happy, sad, angry, anxious, powerful, or peaceful—and choose the one that describes them best in that moment.
Last week, after telling the app that I was in a relatively happy mood while working at my desk and surrounded by people, How Is the World Feeling? informed me that I wasn’t alone: around 7,000 people also registered happiness; around 9,000 clocked in as peaceful, and around 6,000 reported anxiety. An interactive map showed the current distribution of emotions across the globe. Most data points are clustered in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, but smaller countries are represented, too: A red dot in Lebanon denotes anger there; a yellow dot signifies a happy response from Laos.