The study by the Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of adults in the US use social media forms at some point and of these users 39 percent of the adults surveyed use social media for what is described as “civic or political activity”.
It has been shown that almost two out of every five adults in the United States use different forms of social media to be able to be involved in politics with Twitter and Facebook being popular places to air views and follow politics.
While Twitter and Facebook are growing in importance in US politics the study also found that social media users who talk about politics on a regular basis or have strong political beliefs are most likely to be active on social media sites.
As would be expected it is younger political followers who are more likely to let their views be known through social media with users between the ages of 18 and 29 “notably more likely than older users to have posted their own comments, as are those who have at least some college experience”.
The director of the Pew International American Life Project, Lee Rainie, said: “Now that more than half of adults use social media, these technologies have worked their way into the rhythms of people’s lives at many levels.
“At the height of the campaign season, it is clear that most social media users, especially those who care about politics, are using the tools to debate others, stay in touch with candidates, flag political news stories and analysis that are important to them and press their friends into action. We will see the fruits of this neo-activism on Election Day.”
Social media may be a great way for people to now connect with politics on a real level as well as with candidates but it is also importantly being used to try and win more votes for candidates with 35 percent of social media users using tools on sites to try and encourage people to vote.
The Pew study also found that around a third of people using social medial to express political views and other opinions on politics post their own comments or re post content from someone else.
On Twitter and other social media networks about 21 percent of all the users are registered or belong to a group that is involved in political or social issues or working to help various causes.
It appears that the purpose of social media is constantly changing to meet the needs of its users with the political frenzy in the US being reflected in social media use at the moment.