Social Lives Vs Social Networks

  • Over a third (36%) of Brits admit they spend more time socialising via their social networks compared to face-to-face
  • Almost a third (28%) have exaggerated or lied about who they’ve met or what they’ve done on their social networks, with over one in ten (11%) also confessing their online friendships are solely about looking cool and interesting
  • A third (32%) of Brits have more friends online than off, albeit half (47%) believe online friendships are more superficial and less meaningful
  • However, a third (33%) of people confess they are more likely to speak to people they don’t know over a social network compared to face-to-face with over quarter (26%) feeling more confident online

A new study commissioned by Badoo, the world’s largest social network for meeting new people, today reveals 36% of Brits admit they spend more time socialising through social networks than they do in the real world. This research aims to highlight to the nation the importance of keeping a healthy balance between online and offline social interaction.

Working with Emma Kenny, industry renowned psychologist, the poll of over 6,000 people including 2,000 Brits investigates social habits in the UK and delves into how social networks are affecting our social lives. As a nation, social networks appear to bolster people’s confidence (26%) and help facilitate new friendships (33%); but at what cost? Over a quarter (27%) of Brits admit they get lonely, yet over one in ten (16%) prefer to engage in text or online contact, rather than face-to-face interaction or chatting via the telephone.

By launching this study, Badoo and Ms Kenny want to encourage people to use their social networks to instigate conversations and friendships, but not to live vicariously online ensuring people are still meeting up face-to-face.

There appears to be a number of reasons that people have taken to socialising online over offline with the opportunity to make ourselves more interesting and the ability to embellish the truth being prominent factors. Over one in ten (11%) Brits admit their online friendships are solely about looking cool and interesting, with 28% confessing to have exaggerated or lied about who they’ve met or what they’ve done.

Emma Kenny, psychologist, commented: “It’s important that people don’t become so obsessed with their online persona that they lose touch with reality or miss out on real-life events which the research shows us is becoming the case; 17% of Brits have missed key events such as a child’s stage or sporting performance and a baby’s first steps due to trying to capture it on their phone or camera purely for their social network.

Whilst of course social networks are a positive addition to our lives and can boost confidence and help people stay in touch, it’s essential that people don’t lose sight of socialising together and the importance of face-to-face, real-life interaction.”

Amy Mills, a spokesperson for Badoo, which commissioned the study, adds:  “This research highlights the importance of having a healthy balance between online and offline social interaction. 70% of Badoo users tell us they're there to chat and make new friends and so it’s fantastic to see this study showing social networks provide a boost in confidence to approach new people. At Badoo, our goal is to help people meet in the real world: about 48% of conversations on Badoo end up with people connecting offline."

In summary there are clear pros and cons of social networks according to our research:

Pros

  • A third (33%) of Brits acknowledge they’d be more likely to be speak to new people over a social networking site compared to face-to-face
  • Over quarter (26%) of Brits feel more confident interacting online
  • A fifth (21%) of those studied believe they’ll be able to make more friends online Vs offline
  • Social networks act as a great tool to share good news to friends and family as half (49%) of those studied have broadcast events such as pregnancy, birth, marriage or their engagement
  • Brits agree that the best thing about social networks are that they are a great way to stay in touch with people who live far away (79%), to track down old acquaintances (72%), as well as an answer for encouraging shy (42%) and lonely (43%) people to make new friends

Cons:

  • Half (47%) of those studied believe online friendships are more superficial and less meaningful
  • Social networks appear to encourage phony friendships as a third (32%) of Brits confess to having more friends online than off
  • 20% of people have cancelled arrangements with friends, as well as a fifth (20%) even had arguments or disagreements with people rather than face-to-face
  • A quarter of (24%) of UK adults confess they accept ‘friend requests’ from people they aren’t really interested in and don’t particularly even like
  • A quarter (24%) of Brits have shared bad news about a death or a divorce online

Badoo will be debating the topic of social lives Vs social networks at the Cambridge Union on Wednesday 25th April with the motion; ‘This house believes social networks detrimental to one’s social life.’ Guest speakers include comedian Rufus Hound and psychologist Emma Kenny.

-Ends-

For interview opportunities and further information please contact the Badoo press office:

0207 025 6500 / badooteam@redconsultancy.com


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