Six-in-ten Millennials report getting their news about politics on Facebook in a given week, compared with just 39 percent of Baby Boomers,
Social media is the new local TV for younger Americans consuming news about politics and government, according to a new Pew Research Center study. Six-in-ten Millennials report getting their news about politics on Facebook in a given week, compared with just 39 percent of Baby Boomers, 60 percent of whom indicate that local TV is their preferred source for news about politics.
In the middle are Gen Xers. Roughly half of Gen Xers get news about politics and government on Facebook in a given week, while 46 percent do so on local TV, Pew finds.
The Pew survey comprises the three generations. The so-called Silent generation, ages 69 to 86 at the time of the survey, is considered considerably less likely to use the Internet.
Millennials, generally a more tech-savvy generation that has never known a day of their lives without the Internet, are, not surprisingly, the most likely to seek out political content on Facebook. Roughly one-fourth who use Facebook say at least half of the posts they see on the site relate to government and politics. This is much higher than Facebook-using Gen Xers (18 percent) and Baby Boomers (16 percent).
Oddly enough, Millennials express less interest in political news. Twenty-six percent select politics and government as one of the three topics (out of a list of nine) in which they are most interested. In comparison, 34 percent of Gen Xers and 45 percent of Baby Boomers indicate that these topics are of high interest.
All three generations, though, are in accord about their trust issues with the news media. In a word, when it comes to trusting news sources, they don’t. Gen Xers and Baby Boomers trust, on average, about four-in-ten news sources about whom they’ve heard and distrust about two-in-ten, the Pew report states.
Nearly six-in-ten non-Millionaire households with a net worth of at least $100,000 (not including primary residence) use Facebook, according to a 2014 Spectrem Group wealth level study. Of these, nearly eight-in-ten are Millennials, followed by 68 percent of those ages 36-44, 61 percent of those ages 45-4 and 58 percent of Baby Boomers ages 55-64.
Across all age groups, at least one-fourth check their Facebook page two-to-five times per day, the Spectrem Group study found. These users tend to occasionally share information they find on the site with others.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.