How Do People Feel About the End of the World?


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According to myth, the world will end today, the 21st Dec 2012. We did some analysis on online conversation on how people are feeling about it:

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How Do People Feel About the End of the World?

  1. 1. So, the world is ending tomorrow. Excited? Afraid? Nonchalant?In case you hadnt heard (where have you been?!), some people believe the world will end tomorrow, the21st December 2012, due to the fact that this is when the Mayan calendar ends.We have tracked conversation online about the supposed ‘Mayan Apocalypse’ over the entire year to seehow people are reacting to the threat of the end of the world.Since January 1st this year, there have been over 1 million mentions of the end of the world. There havebeen ongoing rumblings of conversation about it throughout the year, but conversation really started hottingup in November as the date approached.
  2. 2. So, what drove people to talk about our impending doom?The most retweeted tweet about the end of the world was the following, from Emoji account @emojistory,which was retweeted over 6,000 times:Other popular tweets often counted down the days to the end of the world, which others gleefully retweetedby thousands of others, such as this one:Usually, we find conversation tends to take place most on Twitter, for most topics. Not so for the end of theworld.Forums were the top platform for discussion about the world ending (31%), suggesting that us mortals needmore than 140 characters to consider our doom.Top sites for discussion included Yahoo! Answers, where users discussed various philosophical questionssuch as ‘Should I do my laundry today?’ and ‘Anyone wanna come riot and loot stores with me?’(inadvisable,that last one).
  3. 3. How does everyone feel about it?Although a Reuters poll has shown that 1 in 10 people are worried about the end of the world, we didnt findthat many people taking the threat seriously. Generally, there is a fair amount of scepticism about the end ofthe world, as proved by many of the answers in the many, many threads, such as this one and this one.We found that most people seemed in high spirits, with 37% still feeling happy, although 19% of peopleonline discussing the end said they felt sad and a further 16% felt angry.Only 6% of people described feeling scared, and another 3% felt nervous.Many are seeing the end of the world as a chance to celebrate, but what are they getting up to?So, what are people doing in advance of the end of the world? We looked at conversations to do withcelebrating or preparing for the end of the world and found that most people seem to be looking to finish thetime on earth with a drink in hand, as the vast majority of conversation about celebrating/preparing for theend of the world involved discussions of partying (69%) and drinking (9%).
  4. 4. Some, however, were taking the apocalypse more seriously though, with 2% saying they will be praying and3% of people saying ‘stocking up’ on supplies (the rationale behind stocking up for non-existence issomewhat fuzzy).Some of us are hoping to get in one last fumble, with 4% of people saying they are going to have sex.And some people, well, theyre just happy with the simple pleasures in life:Want more great insights like these? Visit our blog or book a demo today and see whatBrandwatch can do for you.