Facebook has a new feature called Lexicon that “counts occurrences of words and phrases on Walls over time.” It might be a good tool for judging my generation. Obviously there are statistical problems with it, but it’s fun to play around with nonetheless (for instance, people are probably less apt to talk about sex on a public message board than they would be in a private setting). I’m pretty sure that it was just recently launched, but there’s already the Unofficial Facebook Lexicon Blog. Google has a tool similar to Lexicon called Zeitgeist. Below are some interesting searches that I ran.
Clinton vs. Obama – Obama has significantly greater numbers, probably because of his relative popularity with youth. But notice what should be of concern to Obama supporters, activity for both Obama and Clinton has dropped to nearly match pre-primary levels. Interest is waning and fatigue is numbing the short attentions of youth. The graph of McCain vs. Obama looks similar.
Sex vs. Book – Surprisingly, “book” gets more mention than “sex.” However, sex ties in sex vs. books.
Love vs. Hate – Love dominates hate. Notice the spike in love near Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Also notice the slight recession of hate near Christmas.