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?
‘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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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