Guess How Much Of His Presidency Trump Has Wasted Tweeting?

You remember when Trump infamously said he’d be too busy working for the American people to leave the White House for a round of golf? As of July 9, he’s spent over 20% of his Presidency at his golf properties and on the green. Whoops. Of course, that isn’t the only way he is working “so hard” for the American people. With hundreds of tweets made since taking office, how much more of his presidency has he wasted spent tapping away on his phone?

A stitch in time…

Many of Trump’s messages are longer than 140 characters and have to spill over into multiple postings. For example, consider this recent triplet:

Notice the time stamps? There’s a 7-minute delay between the first two, and a 9-minute delay between the next. If we want to explore how much time Trump spends tweeting, these continuations seem like the perfect testing set, since there are only two likely ways he can tap them out:

  1. He writes each part ahead of time and then uses cut-and-paste to post them. In that case, there should be a very short time delay between each part.
  2. He writes each part, in which case the delay between tweets shows how long it takes for him to write a tweet.

The measure of all tweets

According to the archive, Trump has been the likely author of 625 tweets since taking office (as of July 10, 2017). Of those, I counted 41 that are obvious continuations, with the end of the first and beginning of the next marked with an ellipsis (some variation on “…”). I grabbed them and tallied up the time between the pairings. Here is a histogram showing how intervals stack up. How much time Trump takes to tweet

We can see that most intervals are in the range of 5-10 minutes.

Note that there are 11 sets of tweets with less than a minute between them. The shortest delay is 11 seconds:

Shortest time delay between tweets

I type fast, but I can barely type out “…goodwill and friendship was formed, but only time will tell on trade” in 11 seconds on my laptop, let alone on my phone (and I don’t have tiny fingers). I’m going to consider these pre-written cut-and-pastes.

On the other hand, the longest time lag is 20.5 minutes:

Longest time delay between tweets

I hope that Trump got distracted in between these two (maybe Morning Joe upset him?) and that it didn’t actually take him this long to write that word salad. But who knows.

Taking the median value of all these intervals “automagically” tosses out the highest and lowest values, and gives us an average delay of 6⅓ minutes between tweets. If we ignore the really fast tweets (under a minute) then the average delay between them is 7.5 minutes. Let’s split the difference and say that on average, it takes Trump 7 minutes to write out a tweet.

The President’s time well spent, or time wasted?

Seven minutes may not seem like a lot, but according to the archive, @realDonaldTrump has 882 tweets posted since the inauguration. Of these, Trump has been the likely author of 625 tweets since taking office (as of July 10, 2017). That means he has conceivably spent between 72 and 102 hours writing tweets while in office. That is the equivalent of somewhere between 9 to 13 eight-hour work days or about two standard work weeks.

Just to be clear, Trump has been in office 26 weeks. It appears he spent the equivalent of two of them tweeting.

Now in a recent article, I showed that over half of his tweets are spent bullying, complaining, and lying. This analysis means that he has basically spent one full week’s worth of work sending out these poison messages.

Now you tell us, was that time well spent?

Featured image from FlickrPixabay, and Pixabay

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