When you chat online with one of your friends about whether or not you can afford to go on vacation this year, what you say could be used for research.
The website www.msnbc.com reports that a new study looked at online discussions over a period of two years.
The study found an increase in social media talk about personal financial cutbacks, predicted a spike in the unemployment rate.
A spokesman for one of the groups behind the new research, says it gives governments, policy makers and social service groups, the information on unemployment while it is actually happening.
Otherwise they could be responding months later.
In this study, researchers read entries on web forums and blogs, but in the future, what's said on facebook and twitter will be included.
The spokesperson says this type of research shows a rise in unemployment more quickly, so they can jump in and help people.