Most Americans will agree that the Internet and social media have made it easier to stay informed of news and events, but they view the content they receive with skepticism, according a survey undertaken earlier this year. Almost two thirds of the people polled had used social media the preceding month and while social media users skewed towards a younger demographic, they aligned with overall American sentiment on most issues.

While most Americans believe that being constantly connected through the Internet and social media is helping them to become better informed and enabling them to make better choices, they question the validity of information they receive online and will double check before making key decisions. Interestingly, social media usersí responses closely tracked those of the general population.

Over two thirds of the population believes that corporations and politicians are active on social media to advertise, collect information and increase their success. Traditional news sources are considered more trustworthy than online information sources, and Americans donít believe that social media provides them with any more power or influence over institutions despite the ability to be better informed.

Ultimately, according to the poll, we believe that there is value in constant communication Ė we are becoming better informed and better equipped to make personal decisions. But when it comes to influence over the larger picture, we donít believe that we have sway over the institutions that shape policies and trends, and rely on ourselves instead of an institution to provide security.