So says a recent survey by Chinese tech blog Kenengba, who conducted a user survey that mapped the backgrounds of people in this country and asked them why they took all the trouble of trying to get around the GFW to churn out 140 word messages. He received about 1,000 responses.
And his findings are as follows:
- Twitterers are mostly male. Only 13% were female which was “consistent to most peoples’ observations.” He recommended that male twitterers encourage female friends to use it as well… lest the chances of meeting a girlfriend on the social networking tool be too low. Cute. Also, helloooo boys.
- Twitterers are mostly between the ages of 19 to 29. Amusingly, there seem to have been no people between the ages of 30 to 32 in his sample, but there were some twitter users under the age of 14. The oldest twitterer who responded was 55.
- Most Twitterers have a bachelors degree. The second highest group (notably, only one-sixth of the population of the first group) have masters. While there are some undergrads and high schoolers, their rarety may have something to do with Twitter being blocked just as it was getting popular.
- More than half of the people who responded came from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong. About 67% came from coastal regions that are well off.
- Over 50% of the repondents were either students or professionals in the I.T. industry. We wonder if some were both (and if this means that in two years, masters degree holders will outnumber bachelor degrees).
And why do these people download VPNs, load them onto computers and twitter away despite all the attempts by the net nannies to stop them? Global Voices translated twenty reasons he highlighted (though he mentioned, these are just representative – “1000 users have 1000 reasons why they use Twitter” 1000个人里或许有1000个上Twitter的理由):
1. To know the truth and open the horizon
2. To record and share my life
3. To get information and show my concern about democracy
4. Because Fanfou has been shut down
5. To get all the gossips in order to clear information for my colleagues who live in Mars
6. Follow the planet that I like and later fall in love with everything in Twitter
7. The exchange in Twitter is very interesting
8. No censor here and we can preserve the primary mode of communication here
9. To kill time
10. To follow uncle leg (@kcome)
11. I learn about twitter from kenengba and feel that as a party member I should learn more about this world
12. I can say what I want here without considering whether I should say this or how I should say this. Whether or not I would violate any law. This is the taste of freedom that I enjoy.
13. In an army school where ideological control is very strict, Twitter allows me to keep my independent citizen conscious.
14. University teacher introduces me here
15. Less liars here
16. Job requirement
17. An inevitableness choice for journalist student
18. Passion for new technology
19. At first I come here because I have a crush with a girl who is using Twitter…
20. Why not?
As for the writer of Kenengba, he said his main reason for continuing to use Twitter boiled down to this: Twitter has changed his life too much already.