WSJ online reports surprising results from a survey of college students. It is a great reminder that believing conventional wisdom is a bad idea, since it is so often wrong.
Here is my edited version of the item, which hasn’t been published in full yet.
“Researchers interviewed freshmen in spring 2009 and sophomores in spring 2010 at the University of Illinois, Chicago, chosen for its ethnic and economic diversity. Students whose parents didn’t finish high-school were less likely to use Twitter than their peers. The most striking finding had to do with race: 37.2% of black students were at least occasional Twitter users, compared with 20.8% of white students and 10.1% of Hispanics.
Previous studies have also found high Twitter adoption rates among African-Americans, possible due to a much higher interest in celebrity and entertainment news—one of the key reasons people turn to Twitter, the survey says.”
Turns conventional wisdom on its head, doesn’t it? Title of report: “The Tweet Smell of Celebrity Success: Explaining Variation in Twitter Adoption Among a Diverse Group of Young Adults,” Eszter Hargittai and Eden Litt, New Media & Society (forthcoming)
Keep this in mind when listening to people ascribing social media use mainly to “young people.” How many grandmas do you know with high computer usage and other tech-savvy behavior? Right, lots, me, too.