Survey finds people are less polite on social media than in person

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Here’s a statement that’s likely to surprise nobody: people are less polite online than they are in person. The revelation comes as part of a recent survey from VitalSmarts which found that 88 percent of respondents agreed with the aforementioned statement while 75 percent say they have seen “good manners” go down the toilet on social media in recent years.

These poor manners often lead to arguments or fights which go unresolved. More than four out of five people said such conversations were never resolved which ultimately led to one in five people having reduced in-person contact with a friend or family member. Some 40 percent of people have blocked, unsubscribed or even unfriended someone over an online dispute. Unsurprisingly, younger people are four times more likely than older adults to have an emotionally-charged conversation on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn.

VitalSmarts co-chairman Joseph Grenny said social media platforms allow people to connect with others and strengthen relationships in a way that wasn’t possible before. But at the same time, these platforms are also the default forums for holding high-stakes conversations where people blast each other with polarizing opinions. Those engaged in heated conversations typically have little regard for anyone else that might be reading.

The co-chairman went on to say that social media platforms aren’t the problem; it’s how people are using them that is causing issues and helping to destroy peoples’ most meaningful personal relationships.

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