In 2019, social-media use is a given across all generations. However over half of the youth whom Business Insider surveyed in a recent national poll said they checked Snap, YouTube, and/or Instagram daily.
Social media is the top way that gen Z finds out concerning what’s happening in the world, with 59 of respondents listing it as a prime news supply in Business Insider’s poll of 1,884 individuals between the ages of 13 and 21. The national poll was conducted with SurveyMonkey Audience partner Cint on behalf of Business insider. It ran January 11-14.
Instagram reigns supreme. Concerning 65% of respondents said they checked it daily, with many gen Z`s citing it as a major supply for political news specifically.
Older Americans may be confused by the reliance on Instagram. But, the range of political meme accounts, personalities, and additional simple news publications mean that the social media platform can give an endless stream of content.
These memes exist alongside the accounts of actual politicians, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the left’s biggest social-media stars. Ocasio-Cortez frequently speaks to her followers directly via Instagram Live, covering topics from urban gardening to migrant detention centers. Now, 2020 presidential candidates are trying to follow her lead, trying to look authentic with their own Instagram Live sessions.
“Social media has the flexibility to take out a snippet of a complete presidential speech that somebody gave and provides you 30 seconds to 2 minutes that can fully sway somebody’s opinion on that candidate,” Katy Foster, 21, a right-leaning college student in South Dakota, said.
“There’s no time for most people in Generation Z,” she added. “You’re just being so trapped with everything. Particularly being a college student, I don’t have time to look at an hour-long discussion. I will be swayed, honestly, by a two-minute video, which is sad to mention.”
While roughly half of the respondents to Business Insider’s survey didn’t label themselves as either liberal or conservative, the remaining gen Z`s we polled were nearly evenly split between the right and the left.
Going into the 2020 election, Instagram is set to become a significant stage for discussion. With cable-news divisions playing out on a new platform and presidential candidates flocking to Instagram, the platform will be under the microscope as gen Z gears up for many of its members’ initial presidential election.