Survey: Few teens use social media to talk about politics

Less than 10 percent of teenagers in the United States said they post about their political beliefs on social media, according to a survey published Wednesday.

The Pew Research Center poll of Americans age 13 to 17 found that around 9 percent of teenagers said they post about their political beliefs. Instead, they are far more likely to post about their accomplishments (49 percent), family (44 percent), emotions (34 percent) and dating (22 percent).

ADVERTISEMENT

When broken down by age and gender, older teenage girls are most likely to discuss their political beliefs online, with 16 percent of those ages 15 to 17 saying they post about politics. Only 4 percent of boys in the same age group said they talk politics online.

The gender dynamics are reversed among 13- and 14-year-olds, with 11 percent of boys saying they are more likely to post about politics and 8 percent of girls saying the same.

Pew surveyed 743 teenagers from March 7 to April 10. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

A majority of teenagers overall said social media exposes them to different points of view and allows them to show support for causes.

The results offer insight into the technology habits of the average teenager as young people make headlines for driving social change through social media–savvy campaigns against gun violence and in favor of progressive policies.

Some of the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., shooting, including David Hogg and Emma González, are known for their active social media accounts, on which they post frequently about politics. Their accounts have racked up hundreds of thousands of followers.

Overall, teenagers surveyed by Pew said they believe social media is a positive influence in their lives that makes them feel more included and confident.