8 in 10 Americans believe that they are more outgoing in-person rather than online, according to [pdf] July 2012 survey results from Ipsos. This finding comes on the heels of recent Ipsos survey results indicating that 81% of Americans are still socializing more in-person than online. A Performics study also released in July found that 40% of Americans feel more comfortable engaging with people online than in-person, though survey respondents were limited to Americans who visit a social network at least once a day.
According to the most recent Ipsos survey results, unsurprisingly, younger Americans are more apt to say they are more outgoing online than in-person: 27% of those under 35 claim to be more outgoing online, dropping to 18% of those aged 35 to 49, and just 13% of those aged 50 to 64. Respondents with a high household income (21%) also over-index compared to the mid- or low-range income groups (17% for both).
Married respondents, at 17%, are less likely than others to say they are more outgoing online than in-person.
BRIC Skews High for Online Extroverts
The 8 in 10 US respondents who say they are more outgoing in-person is identical to the global average. Of the 25 countries studied, the 3 populations most likely to be more outgoing online than in-person are the Chinese (42%), Indians (34%), and Indonesians (32%). By contrast, Germans (90%), Italians (91%), and Hungarians (96%) are the most likely to say they are more outgoing in-person than online.
The previous Ipsos study also found that of the 25 countries studied, China and India (both at 31%) had the highest incidence of consumers socializing more online than in-person (see link above).
Some US, UK Residents Stressed By SocNets
One potential reason for the 8 in 10 US and UK consumers being more outgoing in-person than online may be that new media is simply stressing them out. According to a Virgin Digital Help survey of US and UK residents released in July, 27.6% of respondents said they are stressed out by everyday technology. Among nine technologies that “stress people out most,” social networking came in fifth, at 6.7% of respondents. Wi-Fi (12.4%) causes the most stress to the greatest proportion, and email (0.5%) to the least.
2 in 3 Men Believe Tech Enhances Social Lives
Despite Ipsos results showing that 24% of American women say they socialize more with their friends online than “in the real world,” compared to just 13% of men, American men and women were relatively on par when it came to their perceptions of being more outgoing online than in-person (20% of men and 19% of women agreeing).
However outgoing they are or are not online, a July 2012 survey of American men by AskMen revealed that 53% of respondents believe that technology in general has enhanced their social lives by enabling them to stay in regular contact with friends, and an additional 12% believe it has enhanced their social lives by expanding their social circles. 17% report no effect on their social lives, while 18% report that technology has diminished their social lives by keeping them in front of the computer.
About The Data: The Ipsos data is based on a survey of 12,500 consumers in 25 countries.