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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 04, 2010

Are social networks jeopardizing face-to-face interaction?

If you think social networks are sounding the death knell for face-to-face interaction, think again. A new study from ExactTarget and CoTweet shows that social media is, in some cases, bringing people together offline.

by Helen Leggatt

The seventh report in ExactTarget's "Subscribers, Fans and Followers" research series is out and this time they're dispelling the myth that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are turning people into anti-social, monitor-gawking, virtual entities.

They found that social networking actually increases social interaction for some. Over a quarter of those surveyed (27%) said they had spent more time with their fellow human beings, in person, despite also using Facebook more. Only 13% said their face-to-face time with friends had decreased.

Likewise, of those who are using Twitter more, almost half (46%) hang out with their friends more often and only 7% do so less.

The majority of Facebook and Twitter users say their social networking use has had no impact on the amount of time they spend offline with friends and family.

"Concern that the latest networking technology will jeopardize face-to-face connections is nothing new," writes Garrison Wynn in the Washington Post. "In the late 1800s, people thought the telephone would destroy relationships when it actually ended up building them!"

Tags: social networking, user behavior

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