South Korea: Among Young Generation, Liberals Use Twitter, While Conservatives Prefer Facebook
13:30 JST, February 18, 2023
Liberals in their early 20s are more likely to use Twitter, while conservatives in the same age group prefer Facebook, according to a local study released recently.
Two out of 5 South Koreans aged between 19 and 24 are on their smartphones for more than five hours a day, according to an online poll of 2,214 people of this age group conducted in July last year by the state-funded National Youth Policy Institute.
They mostly use YouTube, KakaoTalk, Instagram and Facebook and come across a lot of fake news on social media, the research institute said in its report on young people’s media use and policy study.
According to the survey results, 98.6% of respondents had smartphones, and 43.4% said they use their smartphones for more than five hours a day.
To a multiple-choice question on average daily smartphone use, 19.2% said they used their smartphones between three and four hours; 15.7% between two and three hours; and 14.7% between four and five hours. Only 7.1% said they use their smartphones for less than two hours a day.
YouTube was where they spent the most time, followed by KakaoTalk and other messaging services, social media, music and games.
Eighty-six percent of the respondents said they used social media in the past month, and Instagram was their top choice.
Some 42.5% said they were always using Instagram, while 10.8% said they were always on Facebook, and 9.6% always on Twitter.
TikTok and Kakao Story were the least popular among the five social media platforms mentioned on the survey, with 72.2% and 82.5%, respectively, saying they don’t use them.
As for Twitter, 42.6% of women and 26.4% of men said they use it.
By political orientation, 52.5% of those who identified themselves as liberals said they used Twitter, compared to 23.8% of conservatives.
By specific age, 20-year-olds made up the highest percentage of Twitter users (38.6%).
Facebook, on the other hand, was used more by men (54.8%) than women (35.7%).
Among those who identified themselves as politically conservative, 48.7% used Facebook, compared to 46.7% of centrists and 41.6% of liberals.
The older they were, the more likely they were to use Facebook.
College students made up a lower share of Facebook users (43.1%) than non-college students (53%).
Instagram was more popular among women with 93.9% saying they use it, compared to 88.5% of men.
The percentage of Instagram users was similar across different political orientations.
Sixty percent of all respondents said they came across false or fabricated information on social media, while 59% said they saw such information on video streaming platforms.
A whopping 47.6% said they encountered expressions of hatred online in the past month.
Expressions of hate toward men (77.2%) and women (77.5%) were most commonly encountered online, followed by those toward homosexuals (68.9%); the disabled (58.2%), the elderly (51.3%) and foreigners (45.7%).
The researchers who authored the report said that to help improve the media literacy of this age group, universities should set up a relevant course in their general education curriculum for freshmen. The media should also distribute content to help reduce hate speech and cyber violence, the researchers added.
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