Thomas of Identified Catholic tweeted this question:
You will note that it is clearly directed at his male followers.
I proceeded to (not entirely ironically) illustrate what I believe to be the underlying cause by responding to his tweet with a joke about whether the #Cathmen would have more followers if they were female because to be female is to be more social. Or something.
Social and pushy are the same thing, right?
Thomas responded that he is pretty social, and when I tried to offer examples of Catholic men who seem to have plenty of followers he responded that he already follows them.
So, what’s up with all of this?
I don’t know.
First of all, I don’t know if this is really a thing. A quick look at the Catholics that I follow (guesstimated at 1,500 between two accounts) shows that it is pretty normal for people to have about 200-300 followers. In my little world there are about equal numbers of men and women who have more than 1,000 followers. In fact, it was easy for me to think of several men to suggest to Thomas (Jeffrey, Jonathan, Marc, Jared, William, etc. etc.). It was much more challenging to try to come up with examples of Catholic women whom one would think of as having a lot of followers.
My very unscientific (but totally theologically correct, yo!) examination shows that I follow both some men and some women who are crazy chatterboxes tweeting more than 10 times a day. The only difference that I can see is that more women tend to go into lengthy conversations with numerous @s. To make things even more fun, the Catholic women on Twitter appear to be more likely to jump into existing conversations, thus extending them even further.
There are some men who do this, but more often than not there is at least one woman involved in the conversation. And when it is strictly a man-Twitter-convo (with all the women, such as myself, silently spying) it is almost always directly about theology, not personal daily experience. The man-centered Twittersations are also more likely to look like arguments (theological arguments) and less likely to look like, well, anything else.
I have yet to see a man-twittersation that includes tweets such as “Oh, that is so horrible that you found that out about Yves Congar
and Abelard!” And then another one chime in with “I felt the same way when I realized that Jean-Luc Marion and Jacques Maritain weren’t even the same person!” But I frequently see women have similar conversations, just switch out the theologians names for pretty much anything. I should note that I also some women who use Twitter in this “man” style, but I doubt that they would meet Thomas’ idea of having a large following.
For what it is worth (aka, nothing) Twitter was originally intended to be used more in the style of Father Charles with some interaction with one’s followers, but mostly a steady one-directional stream of brilliant short thoughts. Twitter was, of course, designed by men.
As it happens, this may all line up with general use of Twitter. Supposedly “posting status updates is the second most popular reason women use Twitter, while more men use it to find the latest news.” Well, at least back in the day when this was written.
In short, in my little Catholic Twitter-world, women certainly appear to be more engaged because they are more conversational, but that does not necessarily show that they have more of a following.
Does this match up with what you observe? Do you think that women naturally have more followers on blogs and Twitter?
And just for fun, I leave you with two awesome under-followed Twitter suggestions. My estimation of your Twitter-prowess will be at least doubled if I find out that you are following these two:
And, as always, please let me know if I am not following you on Twitter. I happen to love to use Twitter as a two-way social tool, but I stink at always noticing who I should be following.