Do Women Tweet Better Than Men?

So what has caused me to pose this fundamental question? Well I have been compiling my Top Twitter Lists for over a year now and for some time I have had a feeling that it has been easier to find interesting ladies to feature than men!

I thought a little analysis was needed and the results are quite interesting. Just by way of a bit of background I have been looking at overall Twitter demographics and while hard stats seem to be hard to find, the general consensus seems to be a 55% – 45% split in favour in the ladies. (I am indebted to @briansolis for his most interesting article on the subject of Twitter demographics).

I think we probably need to take this figure with a pinch of salt as, if some of my followers are anything to go by, there a quite a number of ladies on Twitter who don’t seem to actually exist.  I am sure you know the type, they are described admirably in this excellent article from @Rick_LaPoint.

But that really only makes my own analysis of my Top Twitter People list all the more intriguing. I think I need to explain at this point how the Top Twitter People have been selected. It’s not very scientific I must admit, in that I just select people that I have come across in the few days before the list is done who I have found interesting or entertaining. They might have followed or RT’d me me, I might have followed or RT’d them, it’s all a bit random but from a statisticians point of view I guess that’s a good thing.

So what did my analysis reveal?

Top Twitter People by Gender

‘Neither’ indicates the accounts where it’s impossible to identify the gender rather than meaning I have featured a lot of androgynous individuals!

I thought I should also try to get some external corroboration of my findings so I went to Paul Steele’s Twitter Sing-ups to see what the balance between the sexes would be. (My thanks to Kevin Green and Paul Steele for their helpful lists)

 

Twitter Sing-Up Participants by Gender

Interestingly there is a bit of a pattern there so what conclusions can I draw from this excess of women? Well maybe I am a sucker for a pretty face and just like flattering the ladies to impress them. Personally I think I am better than that. No, I conclude that maybe the Twitter gals are just more interesting and entertaining than the Twitter guys (sorry guys, I feel such a traitor making that statement).

Having drawn such a controversial conclusion I thought that I had a duty to have a light-hearted look at the reasons why this might be the case, I really have tried to remain neutral here by being equally unfair to both sexes!

Multi-Tasking

It has long been said that women are better at carrying out more than one task at the same time than men. I don’t subscribe to that as I have seen both sexes struggling equally badly with multiple things to do. However when it comes to following what is happening on Twitter and responding to it I find that I am absolutely hopeless.

I use Tweetdeck, I use Twitter lists and I like to think that I am reasonably well organised however so much of what goes on in the Twitter stream just passes me by. Take the moment I am writing this for instance, I just seem unable to think about anything other than what is in front of me and Twitter just gets ignored. I know I can go back and look but when I do I see loads of people, predominantly female, who are Tweeting with multiple friends, ReTweeting interesting stuff, producing quotes and then producing a killer blog post every 5 minutes.

Is it just me? Am I representative of the male sex? Are you ladies just wired better to cope with this stuff? I think you may be.


Talking

In my experience women are better at and enjoy talking more than men. What do I base that on? Well over many years of observing what goes on around me I generally see the following scenarios.

When men meet in the street they generally exchange pleasantries (good morning etc), talk about the weather (I am British), may pass judgment on the latest sports story and then move on. The whole transaction usually takes no more than 2 or 3 minutes.

When the ladies meet someone they know in the street they can be there for hours, I am not privy to what is discussed but my guess would be it often involves talking about family, what they have been doing since they last met, arranging to meet again so they can chat some more and just maybe a little juicy gossip.

I am not saying which is right and wrong and in fact I often wish I could think of something more interesting to say than ‘turned out nice again’ but if you transfer those qualities to Twitter you are bound to see more of the ladies.

Moms

One does see a lot of SAHM’s, WAHM’s and Moms in Twitter titles and bios so I can only conclude that a lot of mothers at home raising families are using their time well to have an effective presence on Twitter.

Creativity

Are women more creative than men? I don’t know but again I can only go on my own experience. I am the only male in my family, the women are all creative in one way or another be it crafts, cooking or writing and I am not.


How does this creativity transfer to Twitter? Links to blogs about crafts, beauty, fashion, creative writing, photography – the list goes on. Men clearly also have Twitter accounts linked to their superb creative skills but again I think this is why the ladies may predominate in my lists.

Participation

The analysis of the Sing-Up participants seems to show that it’s the ladies who get stuck in and participate more than the men, another reason why they might catch the eye. I must admit I thought it would be the other way round, maybe the guys need a couple of drinks to join in.

Whoever they might be I say well done, check out Twitter Sing-Up 17 while you are here!

Empathy

Defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘The ability to understand and share the feelings of another’. There is also a theory that women are wired to be better listeners so I just think that you gals are better at picking up on what is going on and that translates to your relationships on Twitter.  So why should this make you catch my eye? More connections, more activity, more links I guess.

Social skills

We all know that feeling when we walk into a room of strangers, that initial awkwardness before the ice breaks. But who generally breaks down those barriers first! In my experience it’s the ladies who quickly find something in common to talk about while us guys stand around trying to look cool.

Maybe the Twitter world is the same, we all felt a bit awkward at first but soon joined in when we saw that it’s really quite friendly. Is it the ladies who first broke that ice for us?  I can’t remember but it may be something that adds to the mix.

So there you have it. (I hope you noticed that I only have 7 reasons, I am breaking that ’10′ habit at last! )

I would love to know what all you guys and gals out there think of my tongue in cheek conclusions and sweeping generalisations. Is this phenomenon something you have noticed or is it all down to the fact that my head is turned by a pretty face after all? I feel sure that there needs to be an active debate about this so please leave your comments below.

* Image credits

Male & Female – jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Creativity – Sean Macentee Flickr

Social Media – renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Doug

    That is a good question for International Women’s Day #IWD. I am surprised the results aren’t more in women’s favour – but it may be influenced be gender imbalance in computer usage. Plenty of scope for research.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Thanks for your comment Doug, I hadn’t actually realised that it was IWD when I scheduled the post for today but I it turned out be quite fitting.

      My research is obviously only a tiny sample but interesting just the same. Maybe someone will come up with the definitive analysis in time.

  • http://twitter.com/charlotteclark charlotteclark

    That’s an interesting post Tony. I wrote something very similar back in January for Media 140: http://insight.media140.com/en/2011/01/why-were-women-so-slow-to-tweet/ about a Harvard study that seemed pretty improbable.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Hi Charlotte, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, enjoyed your excellent article :-)

  • Rick LaPoint

    Hi Tony, thanks for the mention :-)

    From my experience, women are my biggest fans. Maybe they think I’m cute ;-)

    Pffft. No, that’s not it :-(

    So, I must conclude that Women comprise the larger portion of my demographic because:

    1) Women don’t fall for BS so easy. They see it all, and know it when they see it.

    3) Women understand Truth when they see it. Women are much more “Intuitive”

    2) Women are more Social. Women Communicate with each other,while Men most often Brag to each other.

    Again, I only say this, based on my own personal experience.

    Your Mileage may vary.

    Rick

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Many thanks for your comment Rick, happy to mention your excellent article which served to confirm what I had suspected for some time.

      You make some good points – intuitive, good word, why didn’t I manage to get it into my article!

      Cheers

  • Eleanor Jodway

    An Excellent Post Tony! I really enjoyed it!

    We women learn from an early age that our lives are going to be hectic, hard and filled with every type of Multitasking that exists. We must be Wife, friend, Mother, Grandmother, Cook, Accountant, Psychologist, Housekeeper, bargain shopper, haggler, Taxi driver and Dog walker! And….when that is ALL done for the day; there’s Twitter! And the multitasking starts anew! It’s really all we know! ;))))

    P.S. Plus….I’m pretty sure we plan on takin’ over! ;P

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Ha Ha, thanks Ellie. I think I reached the conclusion that you ladies are maybe better at Tweeting but us men still have lot to contribute even if it’s only juggling on the Singup!

  • http://twitter.com/TaviGreiner tavianne

    Ever the woman, I feel some motherly duty to correct a bit of grammar ;)

    When determining whether to use “us” or “we”, drop the complementing noun to hear which is correct. In your sentence “while us guys stand around,” dropping “guys” would leave you with “while us stand around.” Obviously, “we” would have been the correct choice.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. The truth is, we each have our own developed strengths as individuals, and then we have our innate strengths as one gender or the other. I don’t believe that it is generalizing, at all, to suggest that women might have some natural adeptness to certain social media tools.

    In the case of Twitter, I think you’ve shown that (as my eight-year-old daughter likes to remind her brothers,) “Once again, women rule and men drool.”

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Hi Tavianne, thanks for your comment and I am glad that your daughters comment has added to the debate.

      And of course you are right about my grammatical error, I am usually such a stickler for these things, I will leave it for posterity I think so that your comment continues to be relevant :-)

  • Anonymous

    totally agree women are better at every thing am sixty year old, joe Friday, it the facts and noting but the facts, it been my experience in life,

  • Chelsea Thomas

    This article was highly entertaining. I didn’t want to stop reading. I was hoping for more and more reason’s, probably because I’m a woman lol. I thought this was a great post!

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Thanks Chelsea, glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://twitter.com/RayBeckerman RayBeckerman

    I think women are definitely more likely than men to be great tweeps.

    The great tweeps are those who interact, who listen as well as speak, who are interested in others as well as themselves.

    The miserable tweeps are those who are so in love with themselves and what they want to say that to them twitter is a platform, rather than a meeting place.

    While all generalizations are false, and while men as well as women are capable of doing twitter right, it has been clear to me that as a general rule the leaders of twitter are more likely to be women than men.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Succinctly put Ray! Many thanks for taking the time to leave your comment : )

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  • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com AllieRambles

    I just think women like to hear themselves. I know too many women that talk just to talk. We’ve seen this particularly in little girls. LOL. We like to hear ourselves converse with each other and, I’ll admit it, by ourselves also. There is something reassuring in hearing someone else acknowledge our thoughts. Twitter allows us to actually “see” our words. It’s a beautiful thing!
    And the moms are the pros at this. We now get to talk about our kids and life with them. Actually we are talking to be sure we are not crazy. LOL.
    Gotta go smash the last 12 hours of the day into 15 minutes of one way “conversation” to my husband. I’m sure he looks forward to it. Hee hee. I sure wish he tweeted. LOL.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Thanks ever so much for taking the time to leave your comment Allie, I really do appreciate it!

      Hmmm, interesting thought about the ‘one way conversation’ – I think I have been on the receiving end of that one or twice ! :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/thatgirlisfunny Cheryl Ragsdale

    Hello Hastings!
    I spend a lot of time in the mixed martial arts streams where men seem to be the majority. The women who jump into the conversation are quite chatty and social. I think that you’ve touched on the fundamental difference between men and women. We love to talk! But I wouldn’t have guessed the results of your test if you had asked me beforehand. Well done on this post! I don’t think I’ve ever seen 120 Linked In Shares before :)

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Thank you Cheryl (or should I call you Ragsdale? No, that seems rude, I will stick with the common convention, you may still call me by my surname if you wish in view of the literary connection!)

      I suppose it does depend on the shared interests of a particular group of Twitter people as to what the mix might be but as my blog has a fairly mixed readership it maybe does show an overall trend. And yes, I had noticed about the women talking thing, you are generally just better at it, it is a skill I admire (as long as it doesn’t go on too long!!)

      Thanks for stopping by to leave your comment.

  • http://www.trendingpoetry.com Persian Poetess

    Your humility regarding the matter is charming! Though this post no doubt strokes my ego, I’m not 100% positive that women are natural born conversationalists. In one of my English classes for example, the demographic tips in favor of females by a large margin (33 gals, 8 guys). Yet oddly, I rarely hear a symphony of voices from them and instead I notice some of the men take handle of the discussion. Strangest thing for sure…perhaps its just an anomaly? Ah well, maybe I better do something unlike what your data or observations argue – pipe down and accept the compliment :P!

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Thanks you for taking the time to pay me a visit and to leave your thoughtful comment. I suppose the balance may depend on the area being analysed and maybe I read too much into the statistics anyway!

      Still it made for an entertaining post that has provoked some interesting comments and I think you have come to a very valid conclusion!

      Glad to have connected with you both here and on Twitter.

  • Kalizamar

    Before I statrted twitter I had no idea that there are so many poets out there, very intuitive, sensitive men…
    I’m also surprised that most followers get my nationality & sex wrong XD What’s your guess & why? 
    The great thing about Twitter: your race, sex, religion, age or culture doesn’t matter, you can be anonymous & just connect to someone, find someone to share ideas or experiences. Or someone makes you stop & think – did you realise that Siberia is beautiful at -48C? 
    @kalizamar:twitter     

  • Holly

    I think this all makes sense – women are really better at multitasking and have more developed communicative skills as a rule on the whole.

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