The tech landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, both in the United States and around the world. There have been notable increases in the use of social media and online platforms (including YouTube and Facebook) and technologies (like the internet, cellphones and smartphones), in some cases leading to near-saturation levels of use among major segments of the population. But digital tech also faced significant backlash in the 2010s.

Here are 10 of the top tech-related changes that Pew Research Center has studied over the past decade:

1Social media sites have emerged as a go-to platform for connecting with others, finding news and engaging politically. When the Center first asked U.S. adults if they ever use a social media site in 2005, just 5% said they did. Today, the share is 72%, according to a survey in early 2019.

Social media has also taken hold around the world. The Center’s spring 2017 global survey – conducted in 17 advanced and 19 emerging economies – found that a median of 53% of adults across emerging and developing countries use social media.

In the U.S. and around the world, younger adults are the most likely age group to use social media. For example, nine-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 report ever using a social media site, compared with 40% of those ages 65 and older.

In terms of specific platforms, YouTube and Facebook are the most widely used online platforms among U.S. adults, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans saying they use each site. The shares of adults who use Instagram and Snapchat are much smaller, but these platforms are especially popular with younger Americans

+ info: Pew Research Center

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