Study shows rudeness online hurts relationships offline

Rebecca Harrington

A new study found hostility online is increasing, and it's spilling over into life offline. 

One in five people said they stopped talking to someone in person after disagreeing online, according to a survey conducted by coorporate consulting firm VitalSmarts. The company also found young people were four times as likely to have lively arguments on social media. 

Joseph Granny, author and VitalSmarts co-founder, said "manners haven't caught up with technology," in the Daily Mail. More than 80 percent of people surveyed said online arguments go unresolved. 

“We struggle to speak candidly and respectfully in person, let alone through a forum that allows no immediate feedback or the opportunity to see how our words will affect others," Granny said in the press release. "…Social media platforms aren’t the problem, it’s how people are using them that is causing a degradation of dialogue that has potential to destroy our most meaningful personal relationships."

Granny suggested people stop and think before they post hurtful comments online, and to try and talk in person to preserve relationships. The study surveyed nearly 3,000 people online in February.