News / Science & Technology

Survey: Friendships Cut Short on Social Media as People Get Ruder

Reuters
Rudeness and throwing insults are cutting online friendships short with a survey on Wednesday showing people are getting ruder on social media and two in five users have ended contact after a virtual altercation.
 
As social media usage surges, the survey found so has incivility with 78 percent of 2,698 people reporting an increase in rudeness online with people having no qualms about being less polite virtually than in person.
 
One in five people have reduced their face-to-face contact with someone they know in real life after an online run-in.
 
Joseph Grenny, co-chairman of corporate training firm VitalSmarts that conducted the survey, said online rows now often spill into real life with 19 percent of people blocking, unsubscribing or "unfriending'' someone over a virtual argument.
 
“The world has changed and a significant proportion of relationships happen online but manners haven't caught up with technology,” Grenny told Reuters on the release of the online survey conducted over three weeks in February.
 
“What really is surprising is that so many people disapprove of this behavior but people are still doing it. Why would you name call online but never to that person's face?”
 
Figures from the Pew Research Center show that 67 percent of online adults in the United States now use social networking sites with Facebook the most popular while the latest figures show over half of the British population has Facebook accounts.
 
The survey follows a spate of highly publicized run-ins between people who came to virtual blows online.
 
British football player Joey Barton, who plays for Olympique de Marseille, was summoned by the French soccer federation's ethics committee after calling Paris St Germain's defender Thiago Silva an "overweight ladyboy'' on Twitter.
 
Boxer Curtis Woodhouse was widely praised after he tracked down a tweeter who branded him a ``complete disgrace'' and "joke'' after a loss, going to his tormenter's house for an apology.
 
Grenny said survey respondents had their own stories such as a family not talking for two years after an online row when one man posted an embarrassing photo of his sister and refused to remove it, instead blasting it to all his contacts.
 
Workplace tensions are also often tracked back to conversations in chat forums when workers talked negatively about another colleague.
 
“People seem aware that these kinds of crucial conversations should not take place on social media yet there seems to be a compulsion to resolve emotions right now and via the convenience of these channels,” said Grenny.
 
Grenny suggested peer-to-peer pressure was needed to enforce appropriate behavior online with people told if out of line.

He said three rules that could improve conversations online were to avoid monologues, replace lazy, judgmental words, and cut personal attacks particularly when emotions were high.
 
“When reading a response to your post and you feel the conversation is getting too emotional for an online exchange, you're right! Stop. Take it offline. Or better yet, face-to-face,'' he said.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid