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New survey makes stupid conclusions about women and social media

Yet another survey has been created with the seemingly sole intention of making women feel insecure about the roles they have chosen in their lives. The newest white paper from She Knows, details the differences in social media use between women who work outside of the home, and stay-at-home mums. 

The research details a variety of annoying and predictable tidbits, such as the fact stay at home mums tend to post more about their families, while women who work outside the home tend to post less, and also use a wider variety of social media sites. I would normally try and elaborate on the topic further at this point in my article but to be frank, I stopped caring about part of the way through. Trust me, it’s that boring, and at the same time, that infuriating.

The thing is, I am a woman who works both at home, and away from it. (Apparently, I’m a sucker for punishment). And I don’t really care to know how I use social media from the outside looking in. I also don’t care how my friends who stay home all the time use it either. I don’t care, because when it comes to bullshit marketing surveys like this one, they are used for evil, not good. I don’t care, because I already know how I use Twitter, and Facebook, and Google Talk, and Skype. Most of the time it is to whine at my editor about something (Hi, Tas) or to retweet something amusing and sarcastic (follow me on twitter if you like those things).

There’s nothing wrong with studying social media use and different statistics and developments. Where this survey – and many other surveys like this one – get grating is comparing the two ‘types’ of women into reductionistic stereotypes that are typically pitted against each other in the game of who is the most progressive/feminist/whatever.

And since these types of surveys are typically used for marketing, I can’t wait to see what company takes this information and uses it against women (who are more than the two monolithic categories presented here, anyways) in a fantastic, demeaning campaign that feeds on our overall insecurities about whether society thinks we are sexy enough, womanly enough, demure enough, or motherly enough.

For me to invest actual energy in analysing this data and attributing any meaning to it would be a complete and utter waste of time, and my emotional well being. I respect myself, and other women more than to read these surveys with a bemused grin, and a raised middle finger.





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