If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What America Thinks: The Age of Social Media

It’s no secret that adults of all ages spend tons of time on the internet and social media, especially younger Americans. But how much do social media and the internet contribute to our consumption of news in the world around us? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Not surprisingly, 59% of adults under 40 use social media like Twitter and Facebook every day, and another 16% use it nearly every day. Forty-two percent (42%) of middle-aged adults use social media every day, as do 22% of senior citizens. Forty-four percent (44%) of those over 65 rarely or never use social media, confirming that Facebook and Twitter really are most popular with millennials.

Few who do use social media say their political opinions are heavily influenced by friends and family on such sites. But while half of adults over 40 say their views are not at all shaped by what friends share on Twitter and Facebook, only 32% of those under 40 say the same.

Overall, the internet rules for news among the younger set. Forty-four percent (44%) under 40 say they get most of their political news online, compared to 24% of 40-64-year-olds and just six percent (6%) of those over 65. Most seniors and middle-aged adults still rely on TV news first.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.