Survey: Political talk on social media is frustrating users

A recent Pew Research Center survey says 37 percent of social media users are worn out by the political talk they see online

Social media frustration

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV)  – With the rise of social media’s popularity, people are becoming more comfortable with posting. Which means going forward, if you don’t like seeing political talk on Facebook, you might want to put the phone down a little more.

A recent Pew Research Center survey says 37 percent of social media users are worn out by the political talk they see online — almost double the amount of people who say they enjoy it.

Dr. Adam Earnheardt, chairman of the Department of Communications at Youngstown State University, said social media is now a part of the norm for people to state their views.

“Everyone really feels like they have a legitimate voice and social media gives that to them,” Earnheardt said.

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Dr. Adam Earnheardt

But the political environment is taking away from some users’ online experiences, as almost 60 percent of those in the survey find posts stressful or frustrating.

“It is stressful,” Tyler Hinton of Niles said. “I mean you read these posts and if it’s not in someone’s favor, they just go all out with hateful comments and everything.”

And almost half say the posts are angry.

“It seems like a lot of people are being really hateful towards each other,” said Austin Bergana, a student at YSU.

“It’s totally worse now,” said YSU student Rachel Wike. “People think they’re right no matter what.”

Dr. Earnheardt said it will get better going forward. Social media is still new and we’re getting on-the-job training with it as we go forward.

“We’re getting the bumps and bruises,” Earnheardt said. “There have been a lot of bumps and bruises with the last election cycle on social media.”