Who Are You? The Weird World of Twitter Bios Reveals Politics, Marital Status and Justin Bieber Love
It's a very odd thing to have a 140-character bio. Any person in marketing will tell you that good ideas require an "elevator pitch," meaning you could pitch your idea in the time it takes to travel a few floors on an elevator. Really great ideas, some say, can be boiled down into a few words. But what about your life?
Yeah, you are!
I did a little extremely unscientific research and was surprised at the results. Using sites like Followerwonk, it's easy to search the Twitter bios of tweeters and it reveals quite a lot.
It isn't all that surprising that people might want to list their status on a social networking site. But what did give me pause were the number of people who have the words wife or husband in their bios. Wives account for 269,856 mentions while husbands come in at 211,414, owing probably as much to the large number of women online as anything else.
As for people reporting their status, 153,448 people have "single" in their bios while 172,767 have "married." Another 4,578 brave souls have the word "divorce" in there. Yikes.
But the one that trumps them all is "mom" or "mother" with a whopping 447,290. "Dad" and "father" had just slightly more than half that number at 271,020. Moms unite!
Religion has a fairly strong presence on Twitter and Christianity -- no surprise -- tops the list with 103,769 followed by Muslim (13,014), Jewish (5,727), Buddhist (4,536) and Hindu (1,174). Also, more than 10,000 twitterers had the word atheist in their bios.
Anyone who has a Facebook feed with acquaintances from high school knows that people love to post things about politics online. Twitter is no different, but what I found fascinating in my search was the huge differences between those using the name of a political party and those using an ideology.
"Republican" popped up 7,942 times while "Democrat" came up 4,939 times. But "conservative" found its way into 34,913 bios while "liberal" did the same for 22,162 others. More than four times the number of people using "Republican" or "Democrat" chose "conservative" or "liberal" instead, including one guy who defined himself as "Child of God - Married - Gun carrying NRA Conservative - Radical Right Wing Super Villain - Anti Obama - Twitter Rock Star" while another simply called himself a "Godless liberal biologist." Indeed.