What we say online matters. Specifically, the words we use matter. Fat shaming, slut shaming, and all kinds of trolling run rampant on social media — but then again, so does negative self-talk. Even when you think you're being positive towards others, it's possible that you're your own worst critic, especially when it comes to your own body. That's why it's particularly awesome that Dove will be unveiling a new technology in conjunction with Twitter as part of its #SpeakBeautiful Initiative on March 12 to help users analyze which words they're using most when they tweet, and when they're most likely to tweet them. Think of it as an instant wordcloud, straight from your 140-character patterns.
The new technology sifts through six months of your tweeting history, and looks for a broad selection of body, beauty, and emotion-related terms, and combines them with natural language processing techniques to analyze how words are used in relation to the subject of the sentence.
Once the posts are classified, a variety of details (i.e. types of words you’re using, the frequency of which you are using them, the time of day) are rolled up and calculated at the user level for display in the various measurement topics the consumer will see. (Watch the video below, it explains it better than I can.)
“So many of us are online, using social media throughout our days to connect," Sarah Conley, plus size fashion, beauty, and technology expert, tells Bustle. "I hear stories and read comments from my readers, and I know that body shaming and online negativity continue to be a major issue that women and girls encounter on a daily basis. It’s important that we understand how our own online words impact our followers. If we start to change the way we speak about ourselves and our online communities, we can ultimately change the online beauty conversation for the better.”
The results should certainly be illuminating — if not a bit humbling for most of us. After all, back in 2013, The Washington Post reported that angry tweets tend to spread faster on social media than tweets of joy or any other emotion. Granted, these findings came from an MIT Technology Review of China's Internet, not the United States', but as anyone with a Twitter account knows, we could all use a reminder to watch the negativity of our tweets — perhaps especially when that negativity is directed at ourselves.
Though the tool won't be unveiled until March 12, on Oscar night this Sunday, (the anniversary of Dove's #SpeakBeautiful Initiative), users can retweet an RSVP from Dove and Twitter and be the first to receive the #SpeakBeautiful Effect analysis. Or, if you'd rather wait until March 12, all you have to do is retweet an invitation from Dove to receive your analysis.