Why Do People Fight in Social Media?

Why Do People Fight in Social Media?

You probably know that posting something online can put you to a lot more frustration and anger. But have you ever wondered why do people fight in social media?

social media apps
Flickr / Jason Howie

It turns out that there’s a reason why people fight more in the online world. However, it has nothing to do with the quality of the argument. Let’s look at what the scientists have learned.

Researchers at the University of California Berkley (UCB) and the University of Chicago observed the behavior of the users in social media.

why do people fight in social media
Flickr / Animated Heaven

They found out that those who listened and watched anonymously were less likely to “degrade” the person’s opinion.

Different posts in social media can lead to dehumanization, which may be why people seem angrier and more frustrated.

Study on Why People Fight Often in Online World

“One of us read a speech excerpt that was printed in a newspaper from a politician with whom he strongly disagreed.

The next week, he heard the exact same speech clip playing on a radio station. He was shocked by how different his reaction was toward the politician when he read the excerpt compared to when he heard it.

When he read the statement, the politician seemed idiotic, but when he heard it spoken, the politician actually sounded reasonable.”

Juliana Schroeder, UCB, study author, told The Washington Post

Basically, if you encounter an opinion you disagree with online, you’re less likely to listen and more likely to fight it and stay in your corner.

Flickr / Esther Vargas

According to the authors: “These results suggest that the medium through which people communicate may steadily influence the impressions they form of each other. The tendency to belittle the minds of the opposition may be tempered by giving them, quite literally, a voice.”

“Many people receive the majority of their news from social media now,” explained Schroeder. “This can be degrading and may increase division. It’s easy to imagine how this could become a cycle.”

facebook post
Flickr / Pascal Paukner

Therefore, the next time you decide to reply to someone’s opinion on social media, always remember that there’s a person on the other side of the screen.

Let us all be responsible users of the Social Media.


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