Less than a fifth of Americans want to go viral

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
January 03, 2018, 3:00 PM GMT+0

But 36% of young millennials say they’d like to be famous on social media

Social media and the widespread sharing of online information has allowed for some Americans to experience fame in a way that previously has been reserved for Hollywood stars or the rich and powerful. Some may remember the video of an American professor in the middle of a remote interview with BBC that was viewed 84 million times on Facebook because his children barged in to play on live TV. Others might miss Candace Payne, better known as Chewbacca Mom, whose candor and laughter stole the hearts of many Americans in a video that was viewed 164 million times. In a recent YouGov poll, though, 68% of Americans say they wouldn’t want to go viral. But of those that want to experience fame for a short amount of time, millennials are the most likely.

When it comes gaining fame on social media, only 18% of Americans say they want it. Research from YouGov Omnibus reveals that nearly half (48%) say they would never want to go viral. Those most vehemently against going viral are Americans over the age of 55, 81% of whom say they wouldn't want it to any extent. This aligns with a generational trend in the poll suggesting that the older someone is, the less likely they are to want a claim to online fame.

Younger millennials (18-24) are the most likely to say they would like to go viral at 36%, while their slightly older cohorts, millennials between 25 and 34, are slightly less likely to say the same at 28%. This younger millennial group, according to YouGov Profiles data, is also the most likely (75%) to say they use social media to keep up with people and share news and information with their friends and family.

Perhaps the medium through which fame is gained is the defining issue. A YouGov poll in 2016 found that 53% of Americans say they would like to be at least slightly famous.

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus research

Image: Getty

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