I found the Twitter demographics listed in the article by Nicholas Jackson to be fascinating, and somewhat surprising. I really expected to see more high school students using Twitter, and truly thought more women would use Twitter than men. I also found that the statistics showing that people who made less money tweet more than those with more money to be very surprising. I initially thought that people who made more money would actually use programs such as Twitter more due to their access to smartphones and the Internet, but that is simply not the case.
Jackson discusses how Twitter truly does not follow the typical technological demographic by breaking the rules not only in socioeconomic statistics, but in gender and racial demographics as well. The balance of male and female Twitter users in each category was about on par showing that both men and women tweet as much for the same reasons with very little difference. The statistics were based on tweet categories like news, photo uploads, or status updates show very little change between the genders. Racially, Hispanics tweet more than any other race, but again the difference is very slim.
The statistics truly begin to show a large margin of difference when looking at the age of those who tweet. College-age Twitter users tweet the most often with high school students coming in at a close second. The lowest numbers seem to fall in the 65+ category with the fewest tweets of all.
So why is this all fascinating or interesting at all? Simply put- the power of such social media as Twitter, can potentially direct the path of modern politics. People who would not normally have a voice or a line with political parties can now have an outlet to communicate with the people who make their political choices. Influential individuals are no longer the white upper class males, but thanks to social media like Twitter the playing field has become more even keeled.
For example, Nancy Scola in her article, ” How Obama Tries to Win Twitter & Influence People,” recaps the Twitter “town hall ” meeting that Obama and Twitter crated in 2011. The goal was to allow certain curators chosen for their tweets and Twitter interaction to interact with President Obama creating a direct line to the President. President Obama went down in history as being the first president in history to hold such a meeting driven by social media.
I find this interactive politics quite thrilling and engaging even though it is in its infancy, it is nice to know that the future may hold more opportunities for the American people to engage and interact with their leaders. I also believe it will encourage and promote all generations to not only engage in discussions, but to take more of an active roll in the political decision making process. I believe the influence and interaction of people who normally would not have a voice will now have a more influential role in democratic process.