Meet the Birmingham student who wrote her diss on Fiat 500 Twitter

‘Sometimes you do just really need a Chinese and a pink gin x’

Fiat 500 Twitter is for the many, not the few. Although our Fiat 500 girls may get on our nerves, constantly talking about their boyfriends, porn star martinis and a desperate craving for a Chinese, we all know you love it.

But some of us love it a little more than most. So much so that one UoB student wrote her 6,000 word dissertation on the online identity of Fiat 500 Twitter.

English Language student, Beth Houghton, recently went viral on twitter following her diss completion post. Beth wrote her 6,000 words, entitled “The linguistic features that define the online subculture of Fiat 500 twitter.” And the people need to know what she learnt.

Beth’s idea came from a lecture on online identities, which mentioned Fiat 500 Twitter. The aim of her dissertation was “to find out what makes a Fiat 500 tweet so different to general tweets that people feel the need to label it as such.” Beth analysed “tweet contents, frequently used words, tweet structure and emojis” to identify the patterns.

Speaking to The Birmingham Tab, Beth explains that she had to manually go through the Fiat 500 tag on Twitter to “compile a corpus of all the tweets.” When she was first collecting her data, she explained that she couldn’t see much difference in the tweets from general Twitter, although she admits this was probably “because my timeline is made up of mostly Fiat 500 tweets.”

But who can blame a girl – as Beth says herself, “sometimes you do just really need a Chinese and a pink gin x”

However, eventually, Beth did find some differences, “such as over 70% of the whole corpus featured the word ‘boyfriend’ in their tweets!!” She also mentioned their “constant need to list things, for example ‘I need a boob job, lip filler, nails, extensions, fake tan, veneers: then I’ll be happy’.”

“My parents were initially sceptical about whether it had any academic value but after reading it, they think it’s still an analytical piece and that social media can actually be academic.” And the people of Twitter certainly agree – with over 4000 retweets and 60,000 likes, Beth is inundated with requests from people wanting to read her dissertation.

Finally, we got the answer to the question on everyone’s mind – does Beth own a Fiat 500? Beth has owned two Fiat 500’s, her first in mustard yellow, but she’s “grown up a bit now and traded it in for a black one.” Obviously!

A true asset to Fiat 500 Twitter!

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