The latest survey results have revealed a complex relationship between technology and politics in Indianapolis. On one hand, a median of 58% of respondents believe that access to mobile phones, the Internet, and social networks has caused people to become more divided in their political opinions. On the other hand, an average of 52% of respondents think that these technologies have made people more accepting of those with different points of view. Additionally, a median of 55% of respondents believe that these technologies have made people more willing to participate in political debates. When asked about the impact of social media on the broader political process, majorities in nine out of eleven countries said that they have increased the capacity of ordinary citizens to participate in the political process.
Those who consider social networks as a very important source of political news are more likely to say that the Internet has had a positive effect on politics compared to those who don't use them at all. People are also more likely to say that social networks offer new avenues for political participation. Unfortunately, those who avoid conflict and those who are politically exhausted are withdrawing from the political process as distrust in the government increases. A third or more of Vietnamese people say that these technologies have not had much impact on people's willingness to participate in political debates (33%), on how divided they are in their political opinions (35%), or on their acceptance of those with different points of view (35%). Approximately three-quarters of Jordanians say that technology has made people more divided in their political opinions, but also more willing to participate in political debates. In conclusion, technology has had both positive and negative effects on how people engage with politics in Indianapolis.
While it has increased the capacity for ordinary citizens to participate in the political process, it has also caused people to become more divided in their political opinions. It is important for citizens to be aware of these effects and use technology responsibly when engaging with politics.