The dark side of social media

Cyber bullying and the social media “mask”

One in five (21%) people with social media accounts say they or someone they know has been a victim of cyber bullying, jumping to a third (33%) amongst 18-34 year olds. Over one in ten (13%) people with social media accounts say that they have been directly insulted on social media, with this number rising to nearly one in five (19%) amongst 18-34 year olds.

It appears the void between social media and the real world can create a breeding ground for negativity with one in six (16%) admitting that they feel more comfortable saying something negative to or about someone than they would in real life. This number rises to over a quarter (27%) amongst 18-24 year olds.

Social media misery

For all the benefits of social media it cannot be denied that for many it can encourage a slew of negative emotions. More than one in ten (13%) say that they regularly feel jealous after using social media, which rises to more than one in six (17%) among women ( vs just 9% of men) and one in four (26%) of 18-34 year olds.

One in ten (12%) Brits in the study admit to regularly feeling sad and nearly one in five (18%) of 18-34 year olds say using social media regularly makes them feel isolated and excluded. The results also revealed women to be more susceptible to these emotions with 13% saying they feel isolated and inadequate compared to 8% of men.

Social media mask

Almost a fifth (18%) admit to not portraying a true image of themselves on social media, while a further 37% say they “mostly” portray a true image. Despite all the energy dedicated to enhancing online appearances, a significant disconnect exists between the way people perceive themselves in real life and on social media.

The study revealed the majority of Brits actually believe that they come across much better offline with two in five (38%) thinking they come across kind in person compared to one in five (20%) who think they come across as kind on social media.

Read more about this research in this article from The Courier.

The dark side of social media

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,002 GB adults from 17th to 20th July 2015. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria