Public Worn Out, Stressed by Political Talk on Social Media

By Steve Safran 

It’s safe to say this election has been driven by social media as much as any other medium. Twitter has seen the brunt of the attention, particularly because it’s where Donald Trump voices his opinions. Facebook is where things get personal: Your friends and family engage in debate there, and it can be stressful.

Pew Research Center is out with a report called “The Political Environment on Social Media.” It’s a great read. One of the headlines: We’re stressed and worn out by all the election talk on social media.

More than a third of the people polled say they’re worn out by how many posts and political discussions they see. And around two thirds are stressed out talking politics with people who don’t share their views:

Pew Internet

The report goes on to write that things are awfully disrespectful out there:

Meanwhile, roughly half of users feel the political conversations they see on social media are angrier (49%), less respectful (53%) and less civil (49%) than those in other areas of life.

Note that the studies were conducted in July and August. My experience is that the vitriol has only become worse.  TV and social media have been big influencers in this election. Expect online debate to come to a head on election night.

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