Hate Isn’t A Strong Word: Social Media and Political Polarization in a Segmented Society

Social media usage in the United States has skyrocketed in the past two decades. According to data from the Pew Research Center, in 2005 only 5% of U.S. adults claimed to have used at least one social networking site. In 2021, that number has risen to 72% of the U.S. adult population (Pew Research Center, 2021). Although social media adoption numbers have remained stagnant in recent years due to high market saturation, almost every American is on or knows someone else who is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any number of big social networking sites.

Graham Diedrich is a graduate student at Michigan State University pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree.