Study: Social Media Users Shy Away From Sharing Opinions

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tired of that friend or relative who won’t stop posting or tweeting political opinions? Online loudmouths may be annoying, but a new survey suggests they are in the minority.

In a report released Tuesday, the Pew Research Center found that most people who regularly use social media sites were actually less likely to share their opinions, even offline.

The findings run counter to how many people view social media. But a survey that asked some 1,800 adults about the case of leaker Edward Snowden found that people on Facebook and Twitter were more likely to clam up on whether widespread government surveillance is a good thing. Researchers also noted the “spiral of silence” phenomenon: Unless people know their audience agrees, they are likely to shy away from talking about hot-button issues.

In other words, most of us are more comfortable with ice-bucket challenges than political banter.

“People…

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