Survey looks at politics on social media

A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that political debate and discussion is indeed a regular fact of digital life for many social media users, and some politically active users enjoy the heated discussions and opportunities for engagement that this mix of social media and politics facilitates.

But a larger share expresses annoyance and aggravation at the tone and content of the political interactions they witness on these platforms. Among the key findings of this survey:

  • More than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter, and more than half describe their online interactions with those they disagree with politically as stressful and frustrating.
  • Many users view the tone of political discussions on social media as uniquely angry and disrespectful – although a sizeable share feels that these discussions simply reflect the broader political climate.
  • Most users try to ignore political arguments on social media as best they can; when that fails, they take steps to curate their feeds and avoid the most offensive types of content
  • Despite these annoyances, some users – especially those with high levels of political engagement – enjoy talking, debating and posting about political issues on social media