As people look ahead to the New Year, it’s not uncommon for them to make resolutions about a diet, or to pledge to kick a bad habit. But what about a news diet, or a social media habit?
The average American spends 40 minutes per day on Facebook and a chunk of that time goes to clicking and sharing news stories. According to a Pew study, 30 percent of adults in the U.S. get some news from Facebook. The same study shows that while fewer Americans are on Twitter, about half of the site’s users are getting news from tweets.
If you use Twitter or Reddit, or other social media platforms, you can pick and choose what you see in your feed, but Facebook uses a complex, constantly changing algorithm to curate your news feed and tailor it specifically to your content preferences. This may mean that many Facebook users are primarily seeing news stories that fit their point of view.
Do your New Year’s resolutions include your social media habits or news consumption? Where do you see those two things intersecting in your daily life?
- Sean Munson: Assistant professor of human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington
- Alexandra Manzano: Social media editor for the Oregonian and OregonLive.com