Americans have a paradoxical attachment to the social media platforms that have transformed communication, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds, saying they regard services such as Facebook to be divisive and a threat to privacy but continue to use them daily.
Across age groups and political ideologies, adults in the survey said they held a negative view of the effects of social media—even though 70% use such services at least once a day.
The deep-dive survey into views of technology draws a picture of Americans struggling personally with their social media habits and looking for more supervision of social media companies by the federal government. Pollsters said they were surprised by the high and relatively uniform dissatisfaction with social media across demographic and political groups.
“If we saw this same, strongly negative force of opinion—spanning partisanship and age—stacked against any one of our corporate clients, I think they would certainly be concerned about their standing in the marketplace and in the halls of Congress,” said Micah Roberts, a Republican pollster at Public Opinion Strategies, who helped conduct the survey.