Tweet elite: how women are leading the social media discussion

Posted by pt91 at Dec 05, 2011 05:10 PM |
New book by University of Leicester lecturer reveals gender divide in use of social media.

Social media is showing us that personal storytelling remains a key way of how we make sense of each other, and a new book by Dr Ruth Page from the School of English sheds light on how the language of social media is changing to reflect that.

Dr Page’s landmark study, an extensive critique of the language and storytelling in personal use of social media, runs counter to statistics showing that young women are under-represented as developers of social media sites.

“The study shows an increasing trend for using 'expressive language' in Facebook (for example, for emphasis or to project friendliness), which is being led by young women aged between 19 and 25 years.  Between 2008 and 2010, for example, the style used by young women was later picked up by other women, especially those over 40 years old, and by teenage boys; but not by men.
Dr Ruth Page, School of English

As well as the developments in personal storytelling her book examines celebrity use of Twitter which, Dr Page concludes, is used to create an illusion of interaction and intimacy.

Stories and Social Media is published by Routledge as part of their Studies in Sociolinguistics series, priced at £80, and you can order a copy from the University Bookshop.

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