Tweeting and time

I follow a bunch of people on Twitter. Some are prolific, and some are not. I was wondering today how much time is spent tweeting, so I did a little math. It’s actually quite startling.

According to the Wikipedia entry for “words per minute (wpm)“, for the “purposes of measurement a word is standardized to five characters or keystrokes”. So a tweet, which is limited to 140 characters, equates to 28 words.

I averaged the wpm of a “slow” typist (23 wpm) and a fast typist (95 wpm) to get 59 wpm. Let’s round down to 56 wpm to make the math easier, since 56 words equates to two tweets (2 x 28).

This all assumes a full 140 character tweet ever time. That’s rare. The average length of a tweet is about 67 characters. Let’s round up to 70, which equates to 14 words or exactly half of a tweet. 56 wpm would produce four tweets.

So take your number of tweets:

• divide by 4 to get the approximate number of minutes spent tweeting.
• divide by 240 to get the approximate number of hours spent tweeting.
• divide by 5760 to get the approximate number of days spent tweeting.

At the time of writing this post, I had 761 tweets, which meant that I have spent approximately 190 minutes, or 3.2 hours, writing tweets when I could have been writing something else. Of course this doesn’t take into account the time spent reading tweets, or any of the other social media interactions I take part in during a day. Still it’s an interesting piece of data.

My take away: Write less tweets and more scripts.