Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

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Nathan Bransford
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Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 26th, 2011, 12:48 pm

Social media-savvy people are more likely to be helpful to others offline too, new research has found.

A study of 24,000 consumers across the 16 largest countries found that those who are most connected, living on the cutting edge of social media tend to be more ‘prosocial’ than average, being more likely to do volunteer work, offer their seats in crowded places, lend possessions to others and give directions. ... er-people/

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by oldhousejunkie » May 26th, 2011, 1:43 pm

I don't think it does, sadly. I find that hiding behind a computer has a tendency to make people meaner, actually. Whether it's just people who have difficult personalities or those who are passive aggressive and want to take it out on others anonymously, they can be found on the internet. Fortunately, that is not the case on this forum, which is why I enjoy being here. I've been on other writing forums and they were less than nice. Actually, they were down right antagonistic!

Personally, I was raised to have good manners and to be passionate about certain causes, so whether or not I am socially involved on the internet makes no difference to me. If anything, because of my upbringing, I try to be nicer than usual on the internet since someone can't see my face, know my mood, or know whether I am trying to be helpful or hurtful.

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by Mira » May 26th, 2011, 1:53 pm

I think it does, which is very good, but I think there is a hidden cost.

I've noticed that those around the blogosphere who are very conscious of their image are very diplomatic and generally kind. It wouldn't surprise me if that translated to their actual behavior, I think things can sink in, and ways of behaving can become intrinsic, if they are not already.

There is huge benefit in that, of course.

BUT I think there may be a hidden cost in honesty, however. Which is a very serious cost. I've done it myself, and I feel very conflicted about it. I don't lie, but I leave out things that might make people angry or upset.

There is something to be said for choosing your timing, but I worry that some things will never be said, and that is a very scary thought. Especially for writers.

In terms of the article, I completely applaud what the Amsterdam agency is promoting about social media making corporations nicer! There is NO hidden cost there, that I can see. That's absolutely wonderful.

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by lindsayB3462 » September 4th, 2012, 5:22 am

i think social media make us nicer. Because it allows us to make friends beyond our real life reach. Now we can have friends in seven continents of the world. From them we can learn what is going on, is the press telling true or not, what is their lifestyle, what they like, who they really are. For a writer it also helps to experience him/her with different aspects, life, demographic factors of other cultures and countries. In this globalization era social media is really helping us to become nicer in every way.

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by Seth86 » December 19th, 2012, 4:49 pm

I think it makes us hide our true self.

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by JustineDell » January 10th, 2013, 9:36 am

I think it depends on who you are and why you use social networking in the first place. For us writers, we use it get our names out there, develop a fan base, etc. So of course, the majority of us are going to be protective of our "image" and play nice. Will that translate into being nice to people in person? Probably...again, because you have that "image". Then of course maybe you are just a nice person all around. :D

And then there's the rest of world...

The jury is out on that. I've seen some nice things online coming from nasty people and vice versa. It depends on *why* you are online in the first place. In a perfect world, I would like to think being nice online meant the same in person.

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by HollyWorton » March 7th, 2013, 12:22 pm

It gives us a place to express ourselves. Some of us use social media professionally, and are aware of the image we project of ourselves online. So for some of us, it may make us nicer, or at least more aware of how we come across online.

For others, such as trolls hiding behind a fake name and photo, it gives them an opportunity to be less nice. Trolls may be apparently "nice" people in real life when they have to show up with their real face and real name, while their online behavior shows a different personality.

I think it all depends on what image you want to project of yourself, or what mask you want to hide behind. It goes both ways.

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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by longknife » March 12th, 2013, 9:21 am

I agree with oldhousejunkie and seth86 - people hide behind their user names and say things they would not face-to-face.

It also depends on the media form. When you have no fake persona to hide behind, you behave yourself.
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Re: Does Social Media Make Us Nicer?

Post by JohnDurvin » November 16th, 2013, 3:06 pm

It may depend on which social media we're talking about; I bet people that join Facebook animal rights groups are nicer than people that moderate 4chan porn discussions, for example. And sure, there's people that do nice things so they can show off how nice they are. On the other hand, just in my experience, we seem to be living in a time when people like to help each other out; I don't think Kickstarter would have done as well in the earlier days of the internet, and everybody's way friendlier and more environmentally conscious than they used to be too. I don't know which way the causality flows, of course, since nicer people would be more likely to participate in friendly social media discussions anyway.
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