By Shikha Sreenivas
The study said that men are more sensitive about how many likes they get on social media. Fourteen percent of men said they would reveal something confidential about a co-worker, while only seven percent of women said they would do so. Twelve percent of men would reveal something confidential about a friend, with only six percent of women agreeing to do so.
The study also claims that men get more upset if they don’t get the kind of social media reaction they hope for — 24 percent of men (as opposed to 17 percent of women) are worried about the consequences of a post that doesn’t do well and that their friends might think they are unpopular.
Twelve percent of men would post a photo of themselves wearing something revealing, nine percent would even be ready to post a naked photo of themselves, as opposed to five percent of women.
While 16,750 might not be a big sample size, and the gendered reading of social media use could be problematic because of their methodology (people can lie in surveys) and cultural reasons (social media has a different place in cultures across the world), the point of the study was to analyse digital depression.
The study concludes that social media is often a “double-edged sword”. It is dangerous for it to replace face-to-face communication, because it can change our communication skills and affect our real world relationships.
As this article from Vanity Fair on Tinder culture and the “dating apocalypse” found, people are more likely to lie, care less, and feel less accountable for deception when they meet people through online dating portals. Communication becomes just a requirement for whatever the user is seeking, not as a way to actually get to know a person out of genuine interst. The writer seemed to find many more men who are likely to have taken advantage of this new culture of social media, with very few feeling guilty about it, while most women (though happy to have sex) noticed and were affected by the lack of respect.
So while the study’s gendered analysis of social media might be questionable, in the case of online dating culture at least, it doesn’t seem to be too far off the mark. And perhaps the take away is a warning of digital depression, declining social skills (and empathy), and troubling relationships.