More often than not, people turn to social media in order to show-off to friends, collect as many ‘likes’ as possible and in the process, feel good. As is widely discussed, this quest for social validation is not necessarily rooted in truths. The point is reiterated in a new research from Kaspersky Lab that shows that one-in-ten people would bend the truth on social media in order to get more people to like their posts. The research also shows that in their pursuit of likes, men are more likely than women to post their privacy away.
To attract attention and secure a significant number of likes, around 12 percent pretend to be somewhere or doing something that might not be strictly true. This rises to 14 percent of men, suggesting that many would rather get social media attention than share a realistic portrayal of their lives.
The research uncovers that men are sensitive about how many likes they get on social media and, in their hunt for likes, men are more likely than women to reveal something embarrassing or confidential about their co-workers, friends or employers. Hence, 14 percent of men said they would reveal something confidential about a co-worker, compared to 7 percent of women, 13 percent are willing to post something confidential about their employer, and 12 percent would reveal something embarrassing about a friend compared with 6 percent of women.
Men also get upset if they do not get the likes they hope for – 24 percent worry that if few people like their posts, their friends will think they are unpopular, compared to 17 percent of women. Around 29 percent of men also admitted that they get upset if somebody who matters to them doesn’t like their posts.
In the hunt for likes, men tend to go even further than women, posting things that present themselves and their friends in a compromising light, which according to Dr. Astrid Carolus, Media Psychologist at the University of Würzburg, “is in line with the assumption of men being rather less focused on social harmony and rather more willing to take risks.”
Sergey Malenkovich, Head of Social Media at Kaspersky Lab agrees, but warns that this risky behavior on social media can put people at risk. “In their search for social approval, people have stopped seeing the boundary between what it is okay to share, and what is better kept private. But it is important to protect ourselves, as well as the privacy of others. The research shows that 58 percent of people feel uncomfortable and upset when their friends post photos of them that they do not want to be made public. All in all, people need to become more aware and cyber-savvy about the information they share on social media and install security software on their devices to protect themselves and their loved ones from cyberthreats,” he said.