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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Confessions of a (sometimes) Twitter User

I've had a Twitter account now for several years. In fact, I have three Twitter pages -- one where I share personal thoughts and information, one for a hobby of mine and a third for work. In the beginning, I used to post to all three many times per week, and on occasion, several times per day.
But over the past months my Twitter activity has declined. It may be because I'm active on three different social networks or because I'm trying to manage the messages in my four email accounts. It could be that I read a couple of newspapers every day and try to read the many magazines to which I subscribe. Or it could be that I spend any available time reading numerous online news sites and blogs, or try to write for one of the two blogs to which I regularly post. I also listen to the radio and watch TV, which also takes up some of my "media" time.
My reduced Twitter use may also have something to do with the fact that I was getting inundated with tweets -- literally several every couple of seconds. By the time I'd read and commented on one, or re-tweeted it, 15 more demanded my attention!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy social media in general and Twitter specifically, but with so many social media and news outlets, it's hard to keep up with all of them. Apparently I'm not the only one feeling a bit overwhelmed.
A report released today by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project says that of all the Americans who log onto and use the Internet, only 8 percent of them use Twitter, and that a much higher percentage of Internet-connected Latinos and African-Americans use the service than whites.
There were other interesting findings from the study as well. Again, of all Internet users, 7% of men used Twitter while the number was 10% for women. Only 5% of white Internet users use Twitter while the number for blacks is 13% and Hispanics 18%. Urban dwellers use Twitter at more than twice the rate of their rural counterparts, 11% to 5%, while suburban usage fell in the middle at 8%.
Age also plays a factor in who uses Twitter. Fourteen percent of those 18-29 years old use the service, but the percentage drops to 7% for 30-49 year olds and 6% for those over 50.
So despite the estimated 50 million tweets per day in the US in 2010, a relatively small number of Internet-connected people seem to responsible for them.
Please feel free to tweet these findings.

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