Pew Research Center
Results from a new survey of US adults reveal the extent to which people’s use of the internet has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, their views about how helpful technology has been for them and the struggles some have faced. The vast majority of adults (90%) say the internet has been at least important to them personally during the pandemic, the survey finds. The share who say it has been essential – 58% – is up slightly from 53% in April 2020.
Society has long fretted about technology’s impact on youth. The hyperconnected nature of social media has led to new anxieties, including worries that these platforms may be negatively impacting teenagers’ mental health. Despite these concerns, teens themselves paint a more nuanced picture of adolescent life on social media.
In recent years, several new options have emerged in the social media universe, many of which explicitly present themselves as alternatives to more established social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – especially by opposing free speech restrictions they say are rife at those sites. These newer sites have created a small but satisfied community of news consumers, many of whom say one of the major reasons they are there is to stay informed about current events.