No Internet For You

Who Uses Twitter? Well, Not Many People Who Live in the Boonies

The rural-urban divide is no joke.
1554536711 1a43974a63 Who Uses Twitter? Well, Not Many People Who Live in the Boonies

Seriously, just try getting a signal. Not gonna happen. (flickr.com/ladytaz)

Oh the times, oh the customs! The data junkies at the Pew Research Council are back with another Internet & American Life dispatch, and it looks like you all are pretty enthusiastic about Twitter. Your country cousins? Not so much.

According to a phone survey conducted in February, 19 percent of urbanites use Twitter, compared to 14 percent of suburbanites and a mere 8 percent of those dwelling in rural areas. If we might introduce a little anecdotal evidence, those numbers are no surprise to this Betabeat reporter, who just spent a weekend in a patch of rural Georgia with neither cell phone service nor reliable high-speed Internet. It’s peaceful until you’re on deadline. New York City just thinks its connectivity problems are bad–try working on a temperamental satellite linkup.

Overall, 15 percent of American adults online use Twitter, 8 percent “on a typical day,” whatever that means. That second number has doubled since May 2011, by the way. The report suggests smartphone usage rates might be pushing that number ever-higher.
A couple more interesting stats:
  • 26 percent of young adults 18 to 29 use Twitter, compared to 14 percent 30 to 49. Meanwhile, 31 percent of those 18 to 24 are using Twitter. Kids today, man.
  • 28 percent of African Americans use Twitter, 13 percent “on a typical day.”
But now all we can think about is how farmers could use hashtags. Seems like a good way to track down, let’s say, wayward calves, no?
Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com