A picture is worth a thousand words, but I don’t have near enough infographics on this blog! So here’s my very special Election Day Post that aspires to be the pop-cultural, right brained amateur version of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog. Well not quite exactly, but we can pretend. Actually these are not my graphics at all, just some esthetically catchy loot I found that I would like to chime in on. Or more specifically, I would like to identify the cases where cultural taste looks like it’s influenced by political leaning when it’s rather influenced by age and generation.
Or as in this first graph depicting the political leanings of the social web, is Facebook really more liberal leaning than Twitter? Probably not, but Twitter users tend to be older, and older people are more conservative than young people, so it seems to be more conservative.
The same is likely to be the case for games. Angry Bird is doubtfully a more liberal game than Farmville, but while the first one is played on smart phones the latter is played on Facebook revealing an age dependent preference for game interface rather than political bias. With the exception of upper, left leaning culture-classed Quora and Wikipedia in the upper left-leaning corner, most of the social media are sorted into the two hemispheres by age cohort more than intrinsic political connotations. Generation X and older are more strongly represented on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn and thus slightly more right leaning by the age variable. Spotify and Angry Bird to the left is very much Millennial and younger.
So let’s take a peak at the politics of music:
The first that comes to mind is that liberals listen to much more music than conservatives! Besides the obvious country to the right and R&B to the left I think I identify a pattern of Boomers and Millennials to the left and Generation X and Silents to the right. This distribution is very much in sync with the generational distribution of political preference. “Dominant generations” generations like Boomers and Millennials tend to be more left leaning than “recessive” generations like Silents and Generation X.
This graph speaks mostly for itself. Conservatives don’t seem to read as much as liberals. But there are exceptions. Obviously, Atlas Shrugged is liked by libertarian Ayn Rand devotees in the upper right corner. And again I think we see some signs of age camouflaged as political preference. Dr. Seuss and Harry Potter is typically liked by, I assume, educated parents with younger children. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and the Twilight series are books that typically appeal to younger demographics while James Patterson has a stronghold among older cohorts. I am personally not that familiar with Patterson, but he seems to appeal to many people my age and older. On the other hand Stieg Larsson also appeals to my generation, but as a Scandinavian anti-mysagonist, the author of the renown Girl with the Dragon tattoo triology placed himself solidly on the left before he passed away.
Let’s move on to TV shows:
So is Jersey Shore more politically liberal than Survivor? Maybe. But maybe also because Survivor, which was launched in 1992 probably appeals to older viewers than Jersey Shore, which didn’t start airing on MTV until 2009?
And finally a few words about political leanings and hobbies:
Liberals may be more media savvy than conservatives, but when it comes to pets and hobbies, I don’t know. I personally think the kennel club and golf suppliers come across as a bit more edified than lol-cats and “I can has cheeseburgers?”. But that just proves my point. Silly internet fads and even the knowledge of Boo is a sign that you’re a young Millennial or Gen-Zer, who shops at Urban Outfitters in your free time.
So there you have it! The stuff you dig reveals how you vote and probably also your age.
Source: Trendsetter, Engage, BuzzFeed