The rhythms of the night: increase in online night activity and emotional resilience during the spring 2020 Covid-19 lockdown
1 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Inria, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, 11 rue des Mathématiques, F-38000, Grenoble, France
2 CNRS, CIS-lab, 59 rue Pouchet, F-75017, Paris, France
3 CNRS, GEMASS, 59 rue Puchet, F-75017, Paris, France
Accepted: 17 January 2021
Published online: 1 February 2021
Context: The lockdown orders established in multiple countries in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are arguably one of the most widespread and deepest shock experienced by societies in recent years. Studying their impact trough the lens of social media offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand the susceptibility and the resilience of human activity patterns to large-scale exogenous shocks. Firstly, we investigate the changes that this upheaval has caused in online activity in terms of time spent online, themes and emotion shared on the platforms, and rhythms of content consumption. Secondly, we examine the resilience of certain platform characteristics, such as the daily rhythms of emotion expression.
Data: Two independent datasets about the French cyberspace: a fine-grained temporal record of almost 100 thousand YouTube videos and a collection of 8 million Tweets between February 17 and April 14, 2020.
Findings: In both datasets we observe a reshaping of the circadian rhythms with an increase of night activity during the lockdown. The analysis of the videos and tweets published during lockdown shows a general decrease in emotional contents and a shift from themes like work and money to themes like death and safety. However, the daily patterns of emotions remain mostly unchanged, thereby suggesting that emotional cycles are resilient to exogenous shocks.
Key words: Online attention / Covid-19 / Circadian rhythms / Twitter / Youtube
© The Author(s) 2021
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.