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Do We Really Behave Badly on Social Media? [Infographic]

June 15, 2012

The unspoken assumption in much of corporate America is that employees, when left to their own devices, will likely abuse social networking privileges while at work and harm company reputation.

Salesforce Rypple (via research from Pew Internet) set out to find just how badly people behave on social media and came up with some unexpected findings. The Pew research team studied the socio-emotional aspect of social networking to see how teens and adults interact on the social Web.

Among the findings:

  • 69% of teens and 85% of adults feel that people are kind on the social Web.
  • 58% of teens and 61% of adults feel that social networking made them feel closer to another person.

More than half of folks surveyed credit social network participation with improved self-esteem and stronger bonds with others.

Negativity that does exist on social networks tends to involve teenagers more than adults.

  • 73% of adults said they encountered offensive material only once in a while or never on social networks.
  • 84% of adults said they would never join in or participate in mean or offensive behavior on social networks.

An overwhelming majority of people already practice respectful use of social networks, and so corporate social media policies can typically afford to be less strident or controlling, according to Salesforce Rypple's reading of the data.

See the following infographic for additional findings.


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  • by Nicholas Herold Sat Jun 16, 2012 via web

    Unfortunately, the very interesting results shown appear to be completely unreliable. There is no denominator mentioned in any of the data points, so the results could be garnered from 5 individuals, or 50. There is no way of knowing. Referencing the Pew site without a specific link to a study does not help the situation.

    I'd like to draw attention to this potentially interesting piece, but I can't in good conscience suggest that I think it's any more than fluff.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Sat Jun 16, 2012 via web

    Hello, Nicholas.

    Here's a Pew link to the study:

    And a more direct link to the findings in question:

  • by Nicholas Herold Sat Jun 16, 2012 via web

    Thanks! When I get a moment, I'll look at it. I don't know that I will set up a link to this piece, but I may link to the Pew piece. It's too bad. I liked your graphic.

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