Social networks are a great place to vent your frustrations to your “friends,” but sometimes they can be a hotbed for debates and arguments. According to a new survey that polled almost 2,700 people, approximately 20% people have reduced in-person contact with someone due to an argument or debate that occurred online.
The survey was conducted by Kerry Patterson et al, who wrote the New York Times best-seller book Crucial Conversations. The study says 78% of social network users reported being hostile in some fashion while online. Furthermore, the survey pointed out that 40% of users have admitted to unsubscribing or “unfriending” someone over an argument on a social networking site.
Other findings from the survey include 76% of users reported to have witnessed an argument on a social networking site, while 19% have gone so far as to decrease in-person contact with someone because of something they said online. A whopping 88% of users believe people are less polite on social media than in person, and 81% say that arguments they have been involved with over social media remain unresolved.
Of course, this isn’t surprising at all. The internet is a hotbed for incivility, and since the consequences are so low, many users have no qualms to start an argument or be rude to other users, which is why cyber bullying has been such a hot topic lately. Social networks provide the opportunity to make connections, but it turns out that it’s having the opposite effect on a majority of users.
Image via XKCD