A new study from Euro RSCG Worldwide, referenced by eMarketer, shows that a fair number of people say they are more likely to “lash out” at brands online. Not a surprise. It’s been a long-time observation that people will say (or write) things online that they never would say when talking to someone directly. I just can’t help wondering. When it comes to brands and products, does that freedom to lash out mean people express more accurately what’s true for them, or less? Either way, it’s worth paying attention.
Among some other findings from the study, eMarketer points out that “the stigma of online socializing is fast disappearing … Although only a minority of US Internet users thought online social groups could be ‘truly social,’ nearly three-fifths disagreed with the idea that socializing on the Web was only for ‘sad, antisocial types.’”
Even more interesting, something that eMarketer doesn’t mention is that contrary to what one might think at first, it’s older internet users who most disagree that online socializing is only for antisocial losers. For example, 59% of 45-54 year old’s disagree while only 51% of 18-24 year old’s do.
Conversely only 26% of 45-54 year old’s agree that “social media online enhances my social life offline” compared to 36% of 18-24 year old’s.
So compared to us sad, old online socializers, who are apparently more content to engage with others armed with an internet connection from the comfort of our living room sofa, and go no further than that, the 18+ set more often sees online socializing as just a means to an offline end.
Ah — to be 18 and old fashioned again!