Remember when I didn’t want to be on Twitter? (Read Why I’m Not on Twitter as a refresher!) Later, I caved and put this blog on Twitter, so I could communicate better with you guys, and it’s been interesting so far. The reason I didn’t initially want to join was because Twitter seems to be so full of haters. Recently, a study showed that my gut feeling was true:
The survey tank’s latest findings sum up a year’s worth of comparisons between the reactions of the general public to breaking-news events and the tenor of the reactions on Twitter. The main takeaway isn’t surprising, but it’s worth noting nonetheless: As much as the media leans on Twitter as an instant public-opinion barometer, the microblogging site’s users really aren’t representative of the nation at large.
Twitter users skew young and left—they leaned hard toward Barack Obama during the election and for gay rights in California. But the most consistent bias that Pew found was not toward liberals or conservatives. It was a bias against, well, almost everything. For instance, the Twitterati were heavily against Obama’s nomination of John Kerry for Secretary of State, and they thought the president’s 2012 State of the Union speech was a stinker. (In both cases, Pew found the public as a whole generally supportive.) And while they evinced more hate for Romney than Obama overall, negative comments toward both “exceeded positive comments by a wide margin throughout the fall campaign season.” In Pew’s words:
At times the Twitter conversation is more liberal than survey responses, while at other times it is more conservative. Often it is the overall negativity that stands out.
So, what do you think? Do you guys who are on Twitter love it or hate it? This blog is on there… for now, though we get lots of mean Tweets from people. If you’d like to follow me there, please go here… and show me some Twitter love instead of hate!