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Rant much on twitter? Blame your phone

Negative language on twitter seems to be extensively used more among mobile users at any given point.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 6, 2015 10:10:59 pm

Twitter, social, 140 characters, new product, tweet, removing 140 character limit, social news, tech news, technologyHow do you tweet? And, more importantly, what device do you use to tweet? Because, did you know that your choice of device for the microblogging tool can actually reflect different aspects of your behaviourial pattern?

According to a recent study led by Dhiraj Murthy at Goldsmiths, University of London, the medium of tweeting can change your behavioral pattern — that is, the content and its tenor can significantly differ while tweeting from phones vis-à-vis web platforms.

Studying 235 million tweets over six weeks in 2013, the team found that users tweet differently from mobile devices, that is, Twitter for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and iPad as well as the mobile browser, which reflects their online behaviour, attitude and linguistic styles. “As we increasingly tweet from our smartphones, we may be encouraged to ‘report’ on our immediate thoughts,” say the researchers.

Although, while tweeting from Web platforms such as TweetDeck and TweetButton, one apparently tends to retrospect before posting.

The team essentially examined four questions in the study: ‘Whether mobile tweets are more egocentric than web tweets’, ‘If they employ more feminine language’, ‘If they are more negative’, and ‘If they are more individualistic’.

On egocentricity, the report found “mobile tweets are not only more egocentric in language than any other group, but that the ratio of egocentric to nonegocentric tweets is consistently greater for mobile tweets than from nonmobile sources”. Although, while gauging if mobile tweets are gendered, the study found that “regardless of platform, tweets tended to employ words traditionally associated as masculine”.

In terms of tweeting tenor, negative language seems to be extensively used more among mobile users. The study also found that communal behaviour is not mobile-user specific, rather both platforms tended to employ language that was associated with communal behaviours.

The researchers said, “Overall, we found that not all tweets are the same and the source of tweets does influence tweeting patterns.”

The broad argument the researchers are trying to make is that context of social content is extremely significant and while twitter has been used previously for various data analyses, there has been little research on how they are actually produced.

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