Young people talk about election on social media. Well, duh

Nearly three-fourths of voters have participated in social media in some election-related way, whether it's posting who they voted for or encouraging others to vote. Eighteen- to 29-year-olds have a higher participation level.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
This may come as a shock, but social media is a "significant" part of the voting process for young people.

A new report from Pew Research finds that 22 percent of voters have told others how they voted via social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. For young people between the ages of 18 to 29, that percentage jumps to 29 percent.

And even more people -- about 30 percent of registered voters -- have been "encouraged to vote" for a certain candidate via posts on the sites. For the 18- to 29-year-olds, a whopping 45 percent have been pressured by friends and family to vote.

Overall, 74 percent of voters did at least one of these activities, be it getting a message about voting, sending out the messages, or broadcasting who they voted for via the social networking sites.

While those are big numbers, they're no longer very surprising. Social networking has played an increasingly important role in elections and other major events, almost to the point where using the sites is no longer unique.

Marc Andreessen, one of Silicon Valley's best-known and often spot-on prognosticators, has gone so far as to suggest 2012 could be history's last social media electionas such services become commonplace in the process. He argues that at some point, elections will be entirely online.