All you doom-and-gloom sayers, listen up: the general feeling on social networks is that people are kind and make them feel good about themselves. So next time you debate whether to compliment your Twitter friend on her new picture, do it – you might just be reaffirming her faith in humanity, at least according to the latest study.
Pew conducted a survey of 2,260 adults aged 18-and-up between July 25 and August 26, 2011. Of those surveyed, 1,047 were Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter users.
The study found that people are actually pretty kind to each other on social media. 85 percent of respondents said that people were kind on social networks, and only 5 percent said they thought people were unkind.
68 percent of those surveyed said they experienced something on a social network that made them feel good about themselves, and 61 percent had an experience that made them feel close to another person – so keep those compliments coming.
And as the cherry on top of all this positivity, 39 percent of social networkers say they often see acts of generosity by other users, and 36 percent say they sometimes see generosity.
But before you put your party hats on and start celebrating the kindness of strangers, Pew reminds us that lots of bad behaviors are happening on social networks too.
For instance, 15 percent of respondents said they had an experience on a network that ended their friendship with someone, and another 12 percent reportedly had an experience that caused a face-to-face argument or confrontation. A smaller percentage, only 3 percent, said they actually got into a physical fight or got in trouble at work thanks to something that happened on a social network.
And the negative outcomes of social networking appear to be more pronounced among teens. Teens had more trouble at work, at home, and with friends than their adult counterparts.