CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience SPEC Report, an exclusive weekly report covering relevant social, political, economic, and cultural trends to help brands better understand and communicate with consumers.

1. Severe gun violence concerns saw a sharp increase last week.

Following the mass shooting at a Nashville school, CivicScience’s ongoing tracking shows that the percentage of U.S. adults who are ‘very concerned’ about gun violence rose sharply to 49% last week, with nearly 9-in-10 respondents reporting they’re at least ‘somewhat concerned.’ The five percentage point increase among those with severe concerns marked the sharpest weekly increase since the Uvalde shooting last year. 

2. Most Americans believe parents should have more control over how their children use social media.

Discussion around children using social media has been at the center of recent debates both online and in statehouses due to its harmful effects. Social media companies are constantly under criticism for ignoring the negative impacts social media can have on younger Americans. As a result, pushback is growing, and more Americans are supporting legislation to implement social media changes, such as banning TikTok in the U.S. or requiring parental consent. 

According to the most recent CivicScience data, nearly 7-in-10 U.S. adults believe social media platforms should require children under 18 to have parental consent to view content or create an account (69%). An additional quarter reported that parental consent should be required ‘sometimes / it depends,’ and only 6% answered ‘never’ (excluding those who answered ‘I’m not sure’).

Looking at the data by parental status, parents with children under five years old report the strongest support toward parental consent on social media, with parents with children aged 0-2 expressing the highest overall (69% answered ‘yes’). Meanwhile, parents with children aged 12-17 – the age children are more likely to use social media – report the lowest levels of support toward parental consent on social media (60%), but they’re the most likely to answer ‘sometimes / it depends’ (30%).

3. Federal regulation of children’s social media usage has widespread and bipartisan support.

In related news, Utah recently passed laws intended to monitor the social media usage of children under 18, and many other states are considering similar measures. CivicScience data show that the majority of Americans support social media regulations, such as preventing the collection of children’s personal information or requiring parental consent to set up a social media account. 

The data further suggest that there’s bipartisan support (rebased to exclude those who answered ‘I’m not sure’). However, strong Republicans are slightly more likely to be favorable to regulations across almost all categories.

Want to see more insights like these? Clients receive the full SPEC Report every week. Work with us.