College students more likely to tweet

About half of Pew respondents said they check their Twitter accounts “every few weeks,” less often than that, or “never.”

“That means a lot of accounts broadcast without two-way dialog,” wrote author Geoff Livingston, co-founder of social enterprise website Zoetica, in a Dec. 20 blog post. “Twitter dubs itself as an information service, but if no one checks then information is not getting spread as far as one would be led to believe.”

Raymond Rose, a longtime online education developer, said Twitter’s reputation as a site for constant sharing and interacting could be overblown if the Pew statistics are accurate.

If half of tweeters use their accounts sporadically, “that means no re-posting, no reading comments, nothing more,” Rose said. “They identify themselves as Twitter users, so the assumption has to be that they only post.”

Pew’s Dec. 9 Twitter research was released just weeks before a similar survey conducted by Digital Surgeons, an online marketing firm with expertise in social media use.

The Digital Surgeons survey analyzed the various groups of regular tweeters, and found that 28 percent of Twitter users are college graduates, and nearly half are currently in college. Seven percent of tweeters are in high school, according to the findings.

Twitter use has been proven to be more than just a distraction for college students. Academics have said the microblogging site can be an academic boost for students.

In an article published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Nov. 12, researchers unveiled findings from a midsized college campus that suggest students who communicated through Twitter during and after class had a GPA of about a half-point higher than students who didn’t use the social media site.