At first, when I read the title of this story I was confused; social media is louder than it’s ever been – with voices being heard on lots of different topics, communities built on popular/unpopular opinions, and social media “storms” brewing constantly. So what is this article about?
A new report from the Pew Research Centre shows that Facebook and Twitter make us less likely to express opinions if we think others will disagree with us; read the full findings here
I don’t think the findings of the report are particularly surprising, in today’s age as social media users, we are rewarded with likes, favourites, retweets etc. for witty thoughts and “sound bite” opinions. These rewards are much easier to handle than the other consequences: Twitter Trolls and having friends/acquaintances potentially unfriend you on Facebook.
This is also especially true for brands on social media; how often do you see a brands go out on a limb to express an unpopular opinion – and stick with it? Often their unpopular opinion was misjudged, shared thinking it was indeed a popular one (KLM sparked anger after a world-cup tweet: http://mashable.com/2014/06/29/the-netherlands-klm-airline-mexico-tweet-world-cup).
Do you find yourself self-censoring online and in real life due to social media? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!