A study conducted by Floatingsheep.org found that Americans tweet more about church than beer.
Researchers aimed to find a way to demonstrate the cultural divide in America through Twitter based on two keywords: “church” and “beer.”
The study findings revealed a regional divide between the two subjects. Tweets about church most often came from the Southeastern region of the United States while tweets about beer were most often derived in the Northeast.
“We found out that there is a geography to what people tweet about, and there are some geographic differences to Twitter,” said Dr. Matthew Zook, a geography professor at the University of Kentucky and co-founder of Floating Sheep. “You have these offline cultural differences that are being replicated in information space like Twitter.”
Researchers reviewed 10 million tweets between June 22 and June 29. They found that 17,686 tweets contained the word “church” and 14,405 contained the word “beer.”
Study analysts chose the two words based on the stark differences between religion and drinking.
The report, published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper found that San Francisco was the most beer-focused city in the country and listed Dallas as the most church-focused city in the nation.
“San Francisco has the largest margin in favor of ‘beer’ tweets (191 compared to 46 for ‘church’) with Boston (Suffolk County) running a close second,” the report says. “In contrast, Dallas, Texas wins the FloatingSheep award for most geotagged tweets about ‘church’ with 178 compared to only 83 about ‘beer.’”
Even though Twitter allows geotagging, a GPS features on mobile phones used to determine a person’s location, it only contributed to 1 to 3 percent of the tweets reviewed.
Previous studies conducted by Floatingsheep.org have found a larger concentration of bars in the Northeastern region of the U.S. and a larger concentration of churches in the Southern and Midwest areas.