Young Scottish people and Twitter

Is there a love affair between young Scottish people and Twitter? My survey analysis suggests that there is. According to the findings, and amongst the respondents who had a Twitter account:

  • 36.6% of those who identify as Scottish used it throughout the day, whilst;
  • 57.9% used it at least a few times a day*
Image credit below**

To put those figures in context, let’s consider the next most prolific users in terms of ethnic background:

  • 20.3% of those who identify as Other British or Irish used it throughout the day, whilst;
  • 46.4% used it at least a few times a day*

It is notable that the other big predictor of frequent Twitter use was age, with 16-18 year olds being much more likely than 19-24 year olds to use it throughout the day. However, when excluding Scottish respondents from the analysis (the largest proportion of whom were in the 16-18 age group), the effect of age on Twitter use, albeit still evident, was considerably less pronounced.

In addition to the above, the Scottish respondents had more Twitter followers, and followed more Twitter accounts than those from different ethnic backgrounds. These findings are interesting, and certainly invite further analysis to elucidate them.

Could it be that there is a distinct subculture of Twitter use amongst young Scottish people? In a separate research project that I have been involved in recently I spoke to many young teenagers in Scotland about their social media use, and would argue that there is evidence of this (and that young people view it as a platform for anarchic, “exciting” content – see this Buzzfeed article for example).

A caveat, though: actual uptake of Twitter is only about half that of Facebook, according to the survey. And although there does seem to be evidence that a faction of young Scottish people do use Twitter heavily, quantitative evidence suggests that they are still a (substantial) minority. A “clique”, even.

*These figures include those who used Twitter throughout the day.

** The Twitter bird © Photo by: Eldh, A. (2011), Weblink here. Licence:

Additional note: The complete survey sample was 909 respondents, of whom 57% were Scottish, 13.6% Other British and Irish, 17.4% Any other White background, and 11.7% Any other background.


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