How People are Reacting to the Upsurge of Political Postings 2016 v.s 2019

The Pew Research Center reported that 68% of Americans receive their news on social media despite their expectation of the news being predominantly inaccurate. Regardless of their news consumption, 46% of U.S social media users describe themselves as feeling exhausted by the upsurge of politically charged postings taking place in 2019. This statistic is an increase from 2016, which communicates a heightened perspective.

The 2016 presidential election significantly contributed to Americans stress. As noted by the American Psychological Association, the election period had 52% of Americans stressed.

The Pew Research Center reported that in 2016, of the social media consumers, 20%, appreciated the lively political discussions and postings being displayed. In comparison to 2019, 15% of study participants feel preferable towards the politically charged posts.

Another realm that Pew explored is how indifferent people became about the political post that fills there feed daily. Back in 2016, a shocking 41% of individuals did not “feel strongly” about the postings and discussions they encountered. A 3% decrease occurred in 2019. Although a small decrease occurs, overall it illustrates an increase in how individuals are interacting with the news.

In regards to feeling burned out by the political discussions, there has been an increase as demonstrated by the numbers. In 2016, 37% reported feeling worn out by the amount of posts they encounter, three years later, a 7% increase occurred. Additionally, there are specific demographics that are especially exhausted from the politically polluted news feed.

Both men and women feel similarly about the current epidemic with a 1% difference; 16% of men and 15% of women enjoy viewing the posts.

The American Psychological Association reported within the stress in America poll, stated that 43% of Americans are addicted to their phones. This addiction manifests into continuous scrolling. Moreover, the same 43% identify their technology use as a source of tension.

Albeit expressing one’s opinion on social media can be stressful due to the possibility of miscommunication. Likewise, social media users report an increase in stress when discussing politics publically. In 2016 individuals, 35%, reported that talking about various perspectives was once interesting whereas 59% believed the experience to be frustrating. The numbers notably shifted. Today 27% of people reported feeling informed, and 68% reported that the interaction was stressful.

However, when these conversations occur online, 67% of individuals report that they feel like they have less in common politically after the discussion. Ultimately this leads to stronger polarization.

The information and statistics can be overwhelming. So are the politically charged discussions taking place online. Yet, there are ways to have a healthy relationship with social media and the news you encounter. Some easy tips include taking a break to reduce screen time, as well as being mindful with what you share on public space (the internet). Lastly, connecting with others that you are inspired by on and off online.

Article by: Alexis Takagi

Works Cited:

(2018). American Psychological Association 2019 Trends . Retrieved from
https://www.apa.org/members/content/2019-ten-trends.pdf

Anderson, M., & Quinn, D. (n.d.). Social media users worn out by political posts, discussions. Retrieved from
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/08/46-of-u-s-social-media-users-say-they -are-worn-out-by-political-posts-and-discussions/

Matsa, K. E., & Shearer, E. (2018, September 10). News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2018. Retrieved from
https://www.journalism.org/2018/09/10/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2018/

Tanap, R. (2019, February 25). How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Social Media. Retrieved from
https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2019/How-to-Have-a-Healthy-Relati onship-with-Social-Media

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